Psalm 23:4a - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
Every once in a while, you come across a TV program or a magazine article which asks, "Where are they now?"
Usually what follows is a program or an article which highlights some individuals who were famous once upon a time, but who have faded into relative obscurity. The shows and articles usually work because most regular folk are willing to invest a few minutes to see how life has turned out for an individual who once was respected, or feared, or adored, or loathed, or loved.
Right now, America's archaeological community is changing that question ... just a bit. Rather than asking, "Where are they now?" they want to know "Where were they then?"
The "they" in that statement are the 100-plus English settlers who landed on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in 1587. It was the colonists' task to set the foundations for the first English settlement in the New World. It was a bold experiment. After a fort was built for their protection, the colonists' ships returned to England. One of the passengers on that journey was John White, the colony's governor who was looking for further assistance for his people.
Sadly, when White returned to Roanoke in 1590 the colony was gone. Poof! Vanished!
The only clues to where they had gone were found in some carvings: one on a tree, the other on the fort's gatepost. Those signs seemed to indicate the group had tried to go to Croatan Island. Searches over the centuries have been short on fact and long in speculation.
The bottom line has always been nobody could prove where they were then.
Then, in 1937 a large stone, a stone with writing scratched onto its dark surface was found by a California man. The message was supposedly written by Elaine White Dare to her father, the governor. The stone explains how many of the settlers were wiped out in warfare. Only seven of the colonists were taken captive by the natives to be used as slaves.
Is that stone's inscription real? Is the story true?
For a long time, most scientists thought the stone was a hoax, a trick, a forgery. Right now, the scientific community is saying, "Let's take a second look." To replace uncertainty with fact is fueling a new and comprehensive study of that stone. Investigators are looking for proofs which, up until now, have been hidden. They are looking for answers to questions which are hundreds of years old.
Sadly, the world may never know what happened to the lives and bodies of the Roanoke colonists.
We may never know those facts, but that doesn't mean their endings were hidden from the Lord. You see, those pioneers knew the Lord, and the Lord knew them. There was never a moment when they were hidden from His view, never a time when He couldn't hear their prayers. If illness took the life of Virginia, the first English child born in the new world, the Lord comforted the mourners with the knowledge that death was not the end. When the last settler died, and the body was laid in an unmarked grave, the Lord brought home that soul which believed in, and had been saved by, the Lord Jesus.
He does the same today.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I truly never know where any day will take me. I give thanks that wherever I go, You are there. For the Savior's redemption and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, I give thanks. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by James Rogers for Fox News and carried by Newser on June 12, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://nypost.com/2018/06/12/engraved-rock-could-unlock-americas-oldest-mystery/?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_2999837
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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