The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of Man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey Him!” Matthew 8:27
It was a long, long time ago. There are many historical events that are almost timeless. They carry with them a mystical allurement that keeps them alive in the minds of people. No matter how much is written, when that event is mentioned, immediately interest is peeked, eyes focus and ears open. Such is the story of the Titanic. It was on May 31, 1911, that the Titanic was launched. Now launched didn’t mean open for business…ready to sail. No, it meant that Titanic had what it needed to be called a ship but not what it took to make money. The hull, the keel, the engines all were in placed but people don’t pay for that…they pay for the good stuff, the nice stuff, the luxurious stuff.
Well, almost a year later, on April 10, 1912, all that stuff was in place and the great Titanic was ready to set sail. The appointments of luxury were amazing. For that time and that place there simply was nothing like the Titanic. Of course, there were different classes of people who bought tickets—from the very rich to the improvised poor looking for a fresh start in America. But the Titanic was really…or was she?
Four days after her maiden voyage began, she struck an iceberg and, in a few hours, sank in the icy North Atlantic taking with her well over a thousand souls. While all the details are a matter of debate, most agree that the basic design of the ship was flawed. The watertight compartments instead of being totally sealed allowed water to overflow from one compartment to the next. Like a cascading river, the water flowed from one compartment to the next sealing the fate of the “unsinkable” ship. Not one detail for the comfort of the Uber rich was overlooked and yet the one thing that could have kept her afloat was. Amazing…and disconcerting…worrying.
I think what prompted me to write this story was the New Year. We all, well those who were awake, watched the ball fall, the peach drop, the fireworks explode. We celebrated; we partied launching into the seas of another New Year. But as we launched, did anyone, did someone, did I, did you stop and examine the “ship” that was going to carry us into 2023? Did we carefully craft the “luxurious” while ignoring the crucial…the vital? Did we plan diets and dream of vacations while being strangely silent about the most important? Did we launch into 2023 without the one thing that would ensure our safety…our survival?
What is the one thing? Better yet, who is that Someone? Well, the answer is Creator God. These days I still feel compelled to make sure we understand that I am not talking about church (though that is profitable) or religion (though that can be good) but I am talking about making sure He is the Captain of our ship. Try this on for size. When the Captain of your ship is the Master (and dare I say Maker) of the storm, there is great comfort. The passengers have the calming assurance that no matter what, He is there, He is ready, He is in charge.
One time the disciples of Jesus found themselves in the midst of a terrible storm, in what could only be described as an oversized rowboat. They were frightened to the point that they thought death was imminent. Just about then they remembered that Jesus was asleep at the back of the boat. They woke Him with a shout of “Don’t you care we are about to drown?” Well, Jesus got up, spoke to the wind and waves, demanding calm…and it happened. He then asked the guys about their faith. Where.Was.Their.Faith. Looking around at the now calm sea and their frail oversized rowboat they asked a question, “What kind of Man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey Him!” Hmmm…good question.
The answer, of course, is that He is and was a one-of-a-kind Man, a Man like no other, God in human form. He was the Captain and Master of the storm and what was true then is true now…with Jesus in your boat you don’t have to fear. So, as we launch into 2023, shouldn’t we make sure that our Captain is Jesus, and shouldn’t we invite Him to lead and guide us? Any unknown, any new horizon can be frightening…unless the Creator and Master of it all is on board. If He is…we don’t have to worry because we have the confident assurance that, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne