(The LORD said) "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
All I can say is the folks on the Carnival ship Triumph had it better than Gilligan, the skipper, too, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann ....
Sorry, I get carried away.
I'm sure you've heard how there was a fire in the engine room of that great cruise ship. You've also heard how that ship was dead in the water, leaving 4,200 passengers to endure less-than-ideal cruise ship conditions for the next four days. When you heard those things, did you wonder how the passengers spent their time?
Now, with everybody safely home, some of them are beginning to share.
Although the situation never looked truly desperate, many of the folks still found themselves asking, "Although it doesn't seem likely, is this ship going to sink? If it does sink, will the crew be able get everybody off? How can I make sure I will be among those who are evacuated? Is this the way I'm going to leave this earth?"
Those questions motivated people to perform certain actions. For example,
* everybody made sure they knew the path to their designated lifeboat;
* everybody kept track of where they put their life vest and necessary valuables;
* everybody made sure they knew where their shipboard loved ones were.
Those are logical and sensible things to do.
There is one other thing some of the passengers did: they came together for Bible study. That's right, together they searched the Scriptures.
And if you're thinking Bible study is nowhere near as important as lifeboats and life vests, many of those folks have said the words of Scripture "put our hearts at ease" and "helped us feel at peace the whole time."
And if you're wondering what passages these adrift souls turned to, I encourage you to look at what is printed above. That passage from Joshua let the readers know the Lord was with them, that they didn't have to be afraid, that they didn't have to worry about the future or be discouraged with their present situation.
The Lord who had made them, redeemed them, and called them to faith ... remained with them. The Lord had not left them or forsaken them. On the contrary, because of their more-open hearts, He probably seemed closer to them on that dead-in-the-water ship than He did during normal times.
Just thought it was something worth remembering if you ever find yourself powerless and adrift.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it's easy for me to think I'm at the wheel of my life's ship. I pray You will open my eyes, so I may appreciate Your guidance, presence and direction. Most of all may I always cling to the Savior who has, through His life-offering, brought us together. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries