“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter Ch 5 6-7
We had just returned from Israel having celebrated our 40th Wedding anniversary. It was a fantastic trip with many great moments – as we walked where Jesus walked. As well as many of the Kings of old and prophets, somehow places mentioned in the Bible came alive. We pictured Jesus on the Mount of Olives, walking in Galilee, Capernaum. The City of David, Hezekiah’s tunnel – Saul defeated on Gilboa – his body taken to Beth Shan.
It was a fairly full on trip and we are not getting any younger. Unfortunately, we came back unwell perhaps from the rigours of the trip, picking some illness within the group. Dot was poorly for about three weeks, I had an infection, and this was further compounded, when I trapped a nerve in my neck. The consequence of this is that I have been off since returning home – in some pain and discomfort.
I recognise that sometimes we are laid aside for a season and that despite our prayers and the prayers of others, we do not always get immediate respite. Yet God is good, and I have no doubt about that. And as the scripture reminds us. We have need to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand – casting all our care/anxiety on him because in his goodness he cares for us.
Prior to our trip I had some encouraging conversations and contacts. Visiting the Musketier and met a number of crew I had some conversation with the cook Renato and also with Capt Rio a lovely Christian believer, who I have known for a couple of years.
Captain Rio and myself spoke about many things, he told me of a forthcoming exam in Belfast which the company wish him to take. This requires some study and good memory as it is an oral exam, so he is quite stressed about it. It was good to pray with him and ask others to do so also. Subsequently, after some delays and postponements I heard that he had been successful in passing the exam which was a great relief to him.
On the Independent Voyager, I met Manny an Indian O/S on watch – he told me none of the crew were available as they were either asleep or working. So, I had some conversation with him, he was a Hindu from Chennai, but was educated in a Christian school, and had some friends who were Christians. I gave him the book Faith at Sea which he was happy to accept and read, just as we were starting this conversation the Captain radioed down telling him to go to the Bridge so our talk ended.
Visited the Atlantic Laurel, I spent most of the morning with CaptainDexter, he had met Martin Otto in Hamburg and had a couple of his books. We spoke on many things and he said how that he had gotten a sense of peace when reading the scriptures. This gave me the opportunity to go over a number of scriptures and talk about the cost in following Jesus and becoming a disciple.
It was good to go back a couple of days later and meet up with Captain Dexter again. He really appreciated the visit, and was happy to take some Emmaus study material on the gospels and the Christian life. He said that they would be a great help to him in understanding the Bible. Pray that they may be productive in his life.