On April 15 the world observed the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. Even after 100 years it remains a shocking tale, touching the heart and mind of people around globe. It was the largest and the most luxurious ship man had ever built till then. Some found it as a floating palace with a five star hotel.
It was made in such a way that in no way it will ever sink. According to reports they took only few life boats and even after the collision with the iceberg at 11:40 PM on April 14, 1912 on her maiden voyage, many passengers were not interested to come out of the cabin thinking their watertight rooms are safe and nothing will happen to the ship. A careful observation of this tragic incident teaches us some valuable lessons.
1. Never trust in our assets or achievement.
Riches give no safety, achievements like education and expertise does not guarantee any protection from danger and difficulties in life. It is utterly foolishness to glory in our possessions, fame or personalities. None of these things can help us in time of crisis. Our trust in such things is vain. Cf. Psalm 33:16, 17; 49: 6—12; 127:1ff.
In fact God is not pleased when His people trust men and materials instead looking to Him for help. Cf. Isaiah 31: 1—3. Our confidence in such objects or human ability leads to forgetting God and rebel against Him.
According to some reports, somebody even commented, “God himself could not sink this ship”! If this statement is true, that shows the arrogance and pride that rule our heart when we trust in man and his achievements. The Bible teaches very clearly states that God hates such overconfidence of man and deal with it promptly. Cf. James 4:6; Jeremiah 50:31; 1Peter 5:6.
2. Presence of God alone is our safety and security.
As far as a Child of God is concerned he has no other safe and secured place than the presence of God. He is our refuge and fortress in whom we can trust; what ever may be the condition. Psalm 91:1ff. As the Titanic was sinking the band kept on playing music to calm the passengers. One of those hymns that still comfort us is, “Nearer my God to thee.” Yes, that is the only place where we can go in time of trouble or calamities like this.
3. Never neglect a warning signal.
Few years ago another ship, Logos the first missionary ship of Operation Mobilization was sinking on the cost of Argentina, the captain read Psalm 61 to the crew and prayed. That Psalm also speaks of our safety and surety in the Lord.
“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.” Psalm 61: 1—3.
Beloved, trust in God alone, never in our self or man; He alone is our protection, salvation and guarantee. Yes, He is our every thing. Praise the Lord.
Many do not consider the warnings given to the captain of the Titanic on Sunday 14th April 1912. Wireless messages were coming advising them of such an iceberg, but it seems they did not mind, may be considering as it is ‘unsinkable’!
4. Communicate the way of salvation to the perishing souls.
Still man does the same, in his self-confidence and pride man does not pay any attention to the warnings God gives to mankind. Not only through the word of God – Bible – even through incidents like this He is counselling people to be cautious. Story of the flood during the time of Noah and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, still remains a warning a signal for us. It is up to us to heed to the vocie of God and escape the coming destruction. That is possible only through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Cf. Psalm 2:12; 1Thessalonians. 5:3.
Even as hundreds of men and women struggling to save themselves from that sea, some one was busy with proclaiming the way of eternal salvation. Naturally there were born again believers on board the ship. We don’t know much about all, but story of one Pastor John Harper is note worthy. (Read below.) He began to preach the gospel to all who came near to him.
What made him to do so? He was aware of the eternal hell-fire where they are going in few minutes. That is our responsibility today. Realizing the destruction and judgment that is going to fall on man, it is our duty to proclaim the way of salvation to him, so that he may hear at least once more before he leaves this earth. There is no other way of salvation for man, except the Lord Jesus Christ. Act 4:12; 16:30, 31.
Definitely, we can draw few more lessons from the story of Titanic. May the Lord open our eyes of understanding to see these truths seriously and act upon it. Let the message of Titanic tragedy challenge us to forsake our self-trust and depend upon the Lord in all circumstances. Take the word of God seriously and practice and propagate it with all diligence.
Stories of few men and women who were on board the Titanic are truly inspiring. Recently Indian News papers published the story of a missionary named Annie Clemmer Funk.
She arrived in India in 1906 from the US and served the Lord at Jangir-Chamba in the state of Chattisgarh. She was supposed to travel by another ship ‘SS Haverford’ from Southampton, England for America to see her ailing mother. Due to coal worker’s strike it was cancelled and she took a second class ticket for Titanic.
As soon as the collision she came to the deck and even got a seat in a life boat. But she offered it to a mother and child as there was no other seats in that rescue boat. She chose to die saving two others!
Story of John Harper is more striking. He was going to the Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. As people were trying to save themselves he ran through the ship proclaiming the word of God. He said, ‘let women, children and the unsaved escape by the life boat first’. He did not try to save himself. Even after the ship was sunk, clinging on to a piece of wreckage, he continued to declare the way of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
J. Oswald Sanders writes about a young Scotsman who got saved through the testimony of John Harper during that dreadful disaster. He was one of the six picked out of the Atlantic that night. This is what he said of his experience that nighttime:
‘Four years ago, when I left England on board the Titanic, I was a careless, godless sinner. I was in this condition on the night when the terrible catastrophe took place. Very soon, with hundreds more, I found myself struggling in the cold, dark waters of the Atlantic. I caught hold of something and clung to it for dear life.
The wail of awful distress from the perishing all around was ringing in my ears, when there floated near by me a man who, too, seemed to be clinging to something. He called to me:
“Is your soul saved?”
I replied: “No, it is not.”
Then said he, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
We drifted apart for a few minutes, then we seemed to be driven together once more.
“Is your soul save?” again he cried out.
“I fear it is not” I replied.
“Then if you will but believe ion the Lord Jesus Christ your soul will be saved.” was his further message of intense appeal to me. But again we were separated by the rolling currents. I heard him call out this message to others as they sank beneath the waters.
There and then, with two miles of water beneath me, in my desperation I cried unto Christ to save me. I believed upon Him and I was saved. In a few minutes I heard this man of God say: “I am going down,” then: “No, no I am going up”. That man was John Harper.’