Perspectives

A different look at every day issues.

What Really Matters Will Not Be Lost

If I were to ask you, "What event comes to mind when I say shipwreck?" Most immediately refer to the sinking of the Titanic while in reality, it's loss of life paled in comparison to the Lusitania (1,924), the Wilhelm Gustloff (9,300), or the Dona Paz (4,386). 


One such disaster stands out among the others as truly unique. It is the sinking of the Andrea Doria in July 1956, Italy's finest and most luxurious ocean cruiser ever. Its amenities included state-of-the-art technology and a unique double hull to ensure its unsinkability. It had made the trans-oceanic trip exactly 100 times and was now nearing New York Harbor early the morning of July 26. At the same time, the Swedish-American cruiser, Stockholm, with its bow heavily reinforced for ice breaking, was leaving the harbor. There, in the dense fog off Nantucket Island, a maritime disaster was about to be written into the history books.


Following several critical errors by the boats' captains and crew, the Stockholm slammed into the side of the Andrea Doria. As the two giant vessels sat motionless in the water, the Andrea Doria's fuel tanks filled with 500 tons of sea water. The bow of the Stockholm had slashed through both of her hulls and she began to list sharply to one side. A distress signal was immediately sent out and all but 52 people were saved.


The thing that makes this story incredible was not the relatively low loss of life from both ships, but a unique rescue no one has been able to explain. After the Stockholm had been towed back into New York Harbor, workers began to inspect its damaged bow. There, in the twisted beams of iron and steel, they found a young girl. The interesting thing about this girl was that she had been a passenger on the Andrea Doria. As the two ships collided, she was actually clawed from her sleeping compartment and deposited in the bow of the Stockholm. It took several days to reunite her with her grief-stricken mother. She is Linda Morgan, step-daughter of the famous ABC correspondent Edward P. Morgan. Her younger sister was killed. 


There are apparent shipwrecks in marriages, occupations, relationships, and ministries. There are times when you may feel you've already slipped beneath the waves. A catastrophe may have changed the course of your life and you couldn't understand why it came about and how it could ever fit into His plan for your life.


You might even feel like the little girl, Linda Morgan, who was literally clawed from her place of safety on the Andrea Doria and deposited in the midst of massive wreckage in another vessel. Your former feelings of safety and security evaporated in the aftermath of the circumstance that left you feeling shipwrecked and broken. 


Let me tell you what the Apostle Paul told those aboard the rapidly sinking ship that was supposed to take him to Rome (Acts 27:1-27). The storm will soon be over and what really matters will not be lost.
Additionally, you are God's chosen vessels--ships that carry the good news through the storms of life bringing hope and healing to those who desperately need to know God cares.


God has not left us, nor will he abandon ship when life sends us a tsunami. Nothing has happened in your life that has not first received his permission.  The power of his love will both sustain you and keep you when you think all is lost.


Remember, your storm will soon be over and what really matters will not be lost.