During the Second World War, a steamer carrying Indian Sepoys (Soldiers) was bombed by the Japanese and it was sunk. Many lost their lives. Only five men managed to row their life-boat and hoped to have a chance to survive, in spite of the surging ocean. They were tossed about for many hours. One of them became desperate. “The sea will swallow me. I will be food for sharks,” he cried and in panic, he fell into the sea.
Another Sepoy wept for his family. “I am afraid they will suffer much. I am dying without arranging for their future”, he said. He too lost his faith in his survival and breathed his last. The third man said, “Alas! I have with me the policy documents of insurance. What a pity I did not give them to my wife. How can she get the amount , now that I am dying?” And he also died.
The other two men reinforced each other’s faith in God. They said, “We shall prove by sticking to life, however desperate the situation. God has created us for some good purpose. We shall not yield to fear. We shall not give up faith in God’s compassion and power”.
They had to give up the leaky boat and swim towards the shore. Within five minutes, a helicopter sent from a coastal ship which had received signals for help from the sinking steamer, sighted them and hauled them up to safety. While safe on land, they said, “It is only five minutes between victory and defeat.”