Monday, December 22, 2008

Are You Seaworthy?

For years I have been a Titanic enthusiast. So when the new book by Brad Matsen,, 'Titanic's Last Secrets', came out I got me a copy right away.

There's just something riveting to me about the fact that the RMS Titanic, dubbed by the press "The Unsinkable Ship", would indeed sink in just two hours in the freezing North Atlantic on that infamous night April 15th, 1912, taking 1,504 souls to a watery grave.

Of course we know the Titanic struck and iceberg - ripping a 35-foot gash in its hull. Thanks to James Cameron's movie "Titanic" in 1997, the sinking of the Titanic is forever etched in our mind. You'll remember the dramatic scene where the stern of the ship rises to a forty-five-degree angle before breaking in half .

But did it really happen that way? According to John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, the answer is no.

Chatterton and Kohler, both divers, worked with a marine forensic analysis team that came to a most compelling conclusion. Titanic's hull plating was to light, causing the ship to actually break apart on the surface - not at all as portrayed in Cameron's movie. The conclusion - the builders and owners sent Titanic to sea not knowing if it was strong enough to survive.

The analogy of a ship on the sea is often used to describe the life of a Christian. Using such an analogy, we could ask, "Am I strong enough to survive the hazards which will come my way?" Some may put it this way, "Is my faith strong enough?"

A pastor was asked by a business man to speak to his staff. After his talk, a woman in the group asked to speak to the pastor privately.

"When I was 22," she said, "I was in a serious car accident, and my boyfriend was killed. I have gone through a lot of surgery and am now doing well. When that happened, I lost my faith."

As kindly as he could, the pastor responded, "You know, when they built the Queen Elizabeth, and the QE2, they did not test them in dry dock. They didn't leave them and get big hoses on them to see if they would leak. They got those ships out into the open ocean to put them through sea trials. These trails were not intended to sink the ship. These trials were to prove that the ship was seaworthy. The only way you can know whether your faith is real or not is when the pressures of life come, when you go through trials. Then you know if you are seaworthy or not. Can I ask you honestly, did you lose your faith or did you find you had none?

She answered, "I guess you are right, I had none."

But how can we know about our faith? I've heard it said that a person can have big faith on thin ice and fall through, while another can have little faith on thick ice and stand secure. What's the difference? You see it's not so much the size of our faith, it's the object of our faith that make the difference. Who or what is your faith truly in? We can be sure that trials will ultimately reveal the object of our faith.

We will all face the storms of life at some time or another. Are you seaworthy?

Pastor Van


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