“I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah46:4
A few weeks ago during a visit to Ireland, we had the opportunity to visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast. I must confess that like many, I have a strange fascination about Titanic and often wonder what exactly happened that fateful night.
We all know the basic story - a brand new luxury ship sets off across the North Atlantic, loaded with people from the richest in the world to some of the poorest seeking new life in America, then late one night it hits an iceberg, there’s not enough lifeboats and only about a third of the passengers survive. Over the next century, questions have been asked about how a supposedly unsinkable ship could then sink at the first hint of trouble. I could list a ream of these questions and theories but I’m trying keep this short.
Since visiting the museum, I did some research and found that at the time of the centenary there were several new expeditions visiting the wreck with all the latest technologies available. Between new information, tests and computer analyses, experts are 99% certain of what happened. And what they found was very surprising. They found that over the subsequent 100 years, the wrong question had been asked.
The absolute reason the ship sank was because it hit rock hard ice at a fast speed and perfectly strong steel came under more pressure than was reasonably expected. Thomas Andrews, the ship’s architect, was on board and estimated that they would sink in about an hour. Titanic actually took two and a half hours to sink. Not only that, but she stayed upright while most floundering ships tend to roll over (think of the recent Costa Concordia). Sadly, if she had more lifeboats, everyone would have been saved.
So the question all this time should really have been “Why did Titanic stay afloat for so long?”.
When I heard this, I remembered how often we can feel less than ideal in our spiritual walk. So often we ask ourselves “Am I good enough?” , “Is God disappointed in me?” or “Have I failed my calling?”.
These are the wrong questions. We should really be asking “How have I stayed the course for so long when others have drifted away?”, or “Why does God still care so much for me when I’ve failed Him so often?” Maybe it’s the pessimistic Scots in us but I know that many people feel the same way.
God knows us through and through. His plan has taken into account all our past, future, weaknesses, thoughts and deeds. When troubles come or we stumble on the way, we shouldn’t think of our failings but rejoice that no matter the circumstance, He carries us onward as long as our trust is in Him and Him alone.