When God Sends the Carpathia.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters…He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.
Psalm 18:16, 19
When the British passenger liner, the RMS Titanic, set out to sea on April 10, 1912, it was both her maiden voyage and her last. Following the collision with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, it’s estimated that over 1500 passengers and crew perished, while only around 700 survived. Historically, the sinking of the Titanic was the greatest maritime disaster.
Who knew the luxury liner wouldn’t make it across the ocean to her destination? Outside God’s omniscience, no one.
As each rivet was being welded or hammered in place, God knew the ship’s fate. He knew there’d be a shoulder-shrug response to iceberg warnings, an insufficient number of lifeboats for the number of passengers aboard and that officers would launch many of them half-filled, adding to the fatalities.
Constructed with 2000, 1-inch thick, rolled steel and iron hull plates, welded together with over 3 million steel and iron rivets weighing 1200 tons, she suffered an unrecoverable breach in her starboard side. And, inevitably, the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic did, indeed, sink, gurgling down into the depths of the ocean. Split into two halves, her scattered remains still sleep on the ocean floor.
At the word ‘Titanic’, I feel a little clutch inside my chest. And it isn’t the result of dreamy images of Leonardo DiCaprio, either. I think ‘disaster, death, and fatal ending’. The Titanic represents a ship I don’t want to board.
If any of those passengers or crew had been given a heads up that they might perish, I daresay not a one would have insisted on boarding the floating death trap, tickets clutched in their fists.
But they didn’t know.
So they boarded the thing, hearts filled with hope, excited for adventure, whether swathed in first-class luxury or cramped into limited, third-class spaces on lower decks.
I’ve experienced situations where, unbeknownst to me, the ‘ship’ I’d boarded was going down. And so have others…
Failed marriages. At the altar, who knew it’d fall apart?
Crumbled congregations. At its planting, who knew a haughty legalism would splinter its members?
Business ventures steeped in dishonesty. At the contract signing, who knew it was a bad match-up?
A fatal car wreck. Slipping behind the wheel, who knew the driver wouldn’t make it to his destination?
An addiction. Experiencing that first delicious high, who knew the habit would eventually take the user’s life?
All of these ‘Titanics’ promised something but didn’t deliver. A ship of dreams that sank to a watery grave.
Less than two hours after the historic sinking, the RMS Carpathia arrived at the site and rescued the lone survivors, (an estimated 710).
In a similar way, God knows when I’ve boarded a Titanic of my own, Click To Tweet stepped unaware into danger or made a foolish or impulsive decision that was headed for an iceberg. In His omniscience, a heart filled with compassion, God has reached down and rescued me, sending a Divine Carpathia to draw me out of deep waters. And never when doing so would hinder proper discipline, shaping me into useful material for the Silversmith.
How about you? When has God saved you from what turned out to be the ‘Titanic’? When has He drawn you out of deep waters?