Once, a family was sailing on the ocean, not far off shore, in their yacht. Though having information about an approaching storm, they waited too long to lower sails before heading back to harbor.
The storm quickly overcame them, and they became dangerously compromised when the ship’s engine would not start. Without engine power, the ship would be swept onto the rocks by the current.
The S.O.S was broadcast, and was immediately received by one who had just safely docked his own ship. He was a mechanic who knew ships engines, and he radioed that he would try to come to their aid.
With the assistance of three others, these volunteers set out in an attempt to make the rescue. The mechanic, who was aware of the location of the troubled ship, took his jet-ski with the intent to approach and board from it. He anticipated that it would be impossible to get his own ship close enough to make any transfer.
By the time the rescuers arrived, the situation was very grave for the powerless ship. The team set their ship as close as possible. Cross-winds were strong and waves were rough. Yet, the mechanic set his jet-ski in the water and, with a safety line attached, bravely set out toward the ship.
If he could get on board, he was confident that he could get the engine started to save all on board. But, getting on board was the key. The desperate situation required him getting on board. Could he get close enough to get in the ship? That was the question.
Similarly, the Scripture relates that the Lord’s disciples were in a ship on the Sea of Galilee when a storm arose and posed great danger to the men.
One of the significant details of the account is the approach Jesus made to the ship and the men by walking on the water.
But, for our present purposes, the matter to note is the difference it made when Jesus stepped into their ship. The very moment that the Lord got on board, “the wind ceased.” The seas became calm, and the great distress of the men, who fell at Jesus’ feet to worship Him, was relieved.
Lives are often compared to ships on the seas of life, on which winds and waves pose dangers and discomforts.
But, if there is anything to be learned from this Scriptural example, it is that, when we invite Jesus Christ to get into the ship of our lives, a great difference is experienced in the quality of our life experience. We can have whoever or whatever we want along with us, but it is only with the Lord on board that our lives are the most stable and satisfying.
His presence provides the leadership that gives our lives direction. His presence provides the Lordship that gives our lives definition. His presence provides the fellowship that frees our lives from despair.
The hopes of the people aboard the ailing ship rallied when they saw the approaching savior. But, despite the valiant effort, the rough and tumble waves hindered the man from getting on board.
Finally, a fierce wave crashed into the ship, and sent the man off his jet-ski into the foam. His life was saved only because of the lifeline attached to him.
However, minutes later the ship was crushed with cruel and fatal force on the shoreline. The man who attempted the rescue could not get on board. Had he been able to get into their ship, he could have made an unmistakable difference for all on board.
It is imperative to understand that, without Jesus in your ship, you are in spiritual danger. Invite the Lord on board to walk your deck before it becomes too late.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.