Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Our finest hours
From the February 2017 issue of The Christian Science Journal
One of the US Coast Guard’s most daring rescues took place in 1952 during a massive nor’easter off Massachusetts’s Cape Cod, as dramatized in the recent Disney film The Finest Hours, based on the book of the same name. Fifty-foot waves from the powerful winter storm broke an oil tanker in half. A young crew of four from Chatham Lifeboat Station raced out to search for any stranded survivors. In a TV segment in which coauthor Michael Tougias was interviewed, it was reported that the captain of the lifeboat, Bernie Webber, told Tougias that a higher power aided them. Webber deeply turned to God that night. “As the lifeboat pitched along a canyon of waves, Webber and his crew spontaneously began to sing.… Their four voices formed a harmony that rose over the howling winds. Webber could think of no more poignant hymn to fit the situation they found themselves in.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee; …”
(Tougias and Casey Sherman,
The Finest Hours, p. 50)
These profound accounts fulfill the prayer to God, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). And in the story of Noah’s ark, Noah witnessed God’s help; then he beheld a rainbow and heard God’s message, “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature” (Genesis 9:16). What a timeless promise!
We can turn to God to direct and protect, as we travel about in the safety of our “ark,” a conscious recognition of God’s goodness. This security is beautifully conveyed in Psalms 91:1: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The psalm goes on to eliminate fears by reassuring those who trust God and declaring what He does for them: delivers, covers, protects, provides a refuge. In truth, as God’s children, we dwell in Him, where we are always safe. Recognizing wholeheartedly that we actually live in God’s kingdom, which includes only good, and are inseparable from God, we avail ourselves of His protection.