The ship tossed around in the waves is the one my son an many others had to live on for seven weeks at a time without seeing land
This afternoon while sorting through my photos, I came across a photo of the ship my seafaring son worked on for seven weeks at a time for the past five years. Normally when we hear someone is at sea, a picture comes to mind of a large luxury liner with azure blue swimming pools, huge dining rooms and beautiful staterooms. In between neatly- uniformed naval staff move silently between passengers lounging in deck chairs, dispensing exotic looking drinks!
This ship was different. For many years before leaving his job to be at home with his family (you can read about this here), he held down the position of First Officer on board the oceangoing tug pictured above. The tug towed barges and repositioned oil rigs. It took supplies, spares, tools and all the paraphernalia pertaining to underwater drilling operations,out to the rigs.
As can be seen from the photograph, the tug doesn’t look very comfortable but the officers and cadets had to live on this “boat” (as sailors call their craft) for seven weeks at a time without seeing land. The cramped conditions taught the men tolerance towards and forbearance with each other. The fact that it has no ballast (like a normal ship) and was tossed relentlessly on the huge waves, also caused even the most salted sailor to experience regular bouts of sea sickness.
Two years ago a fire broke out in the engine room. The captain had to make the decision to shut down the hatches (which he did) while an engineer was still down there. It was either sacrifice one man or lose the whole tug and all the other men on board. (What a decision to have to make) The fire suppression system was activated and the engine room was pumped full of foam, powder and carbon dioxide. The crew above fell silent thinking of their fellow sailor below facing certain death. Suddenly the engineer appeared, safe and sound, up on the deck. He’d climbed up into the air extractor / ventilator fan which exits onto the deck...
Life is often like this tug. Often we are thrown together in a cramped space with other people. (think supermarket or Post Office queue). This is the time we have to show patience and tolerance when we have to deal with people.
Sometimes life is the tug being dashed up and down on huge waves. It is normal to be worried and troubled. However, you will be safe and won't sink if you keep your eyes focussed on Jesus. Don't look down/around at the waves, you'll only feel seasick and lose your balance. Rather focus on the Lord who is beckoning you to trust Him to guide you over the rough waters to the security and calmness of land.
Remember the shortest, yet the most powerful prayer is: " Lord help!"