Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
A 23-foot skiff is not a very big vessel when it sets out on the Pacific Ocean.
That skiff becomes a lot smaller when the engine fails and there is no radio to call for help.
Of course, those statements are nothing new to the unnamed 29-year-old Columbian man who was picked up by the Panamanian ship, the Nikkei Verde, on April 26.
Apparently, the man with two companions had taken their boat out on the water more than two months earlier. After their engine died, they found themselves adrift. Naturally, it was hoped that someone would spot them and pick them up.
That didn't happen.
Instead, they just kept drifting. They drifted 500 miles, then 1,000 miles. They managed to survive, at least for a while, on fish and the sea gulls they caught. Their drifting hit the 1,500-mile mark and then 2,000 miles. One of the three friends died; then the second passed away.
The drifting continued: 2,500 miles, 3,000 miles, 3,500 miles.
Finally, the sole survivor was rescued, transferred to a Coast Guard ship, and taken to Hawaii. The doctors gave the man a complete physical and went on record stating the man was, amazingly enough, "in good condition." Through a translator the man told the onlookers how grateful he was to the ships and crews who had rescued him.
The man concluded by sharing how much he would "have loved it if his friends from the boat would have been there with him."
Most of us can understand and agree with that -- especially when it comes to heaven.
The truth is that many of us have people to whom we are close who are not, at this moment, headed toward heaven. They don't know Jesus, and if they do know Him, they don't have Spirit-given faith in Him as their Savior.
Now you and I can't change that. We can't force them to believe, nor can we believe for them.
But that doesn't mean we are helpless in the situation. We can still remember them in our prayers. We can still ask the Lord to place them into the right situation and give them the right mind and heart to acknowledge the Savior and the forgiveness He wishes to give them.
We can still, when situation and circumstances are right, witness to them of the peace and joy which can be theirs when the Lord Jesus lives within them.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray that all the world may know Jesus as Lord. Today I especially pray for those lost souls who are close to me. Grant that their directions be changed, their drifting be brought to an end, and they be taken to a safe harbor. This I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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