Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Lighthouse

We set sail on July 15th, 1972 from SteelPoint Harbor on a glistening day in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  The four of us took a week off from our busy schedules to pleasure cruise the North Atlantic.  News reports favored our choice of time and place for the trip: July had been a month of steady winds and sun-lit days. 

Night fell this third evening of our voyage; it was 8:15.  Trenton stood below deck combing his ever-thinning head of hair, when the mirror that dangled from the brass hook on the wall jolted violently, as the cabin shook with a loud thud. Trenton lashed backwards from the crash.  His back bruised hard against the boat’s radio, which slammed against the floor.  Trenton lay stunned, as he caressed his throbbing spine.  He suffered minor bruises only; his main concerns centered on the boat, and as he examined the radio, he realized it was destroyed.

Trenton burst in a loud voice, “What did we hit?”  Stephen, whose hands tightly grasped the helm replied, “I’m not sure, but whatever it was, it hit us hard, very hard!”  I darted toward the starboard side of the boat, with my pocket flashlight in hand.  The light revealed extensive damage.  After a closer look, I spotted water seeping into the hull of our sailboat at a slow, but steady rate.  Pete looked on with me saying, “Hey you guys, we better radio for help, the boat is taking in water.”  Trenton hollered, “We may not be able to, I smashed into the radio from the hit and I don’t think it’s working!”

The four of us understood the danger.  Without a radio to call for help we would have to sail the sinking ship to shore (this was before the world had cell phones).  We were perhaps 10-15 miles from land, with no surety of where the nearest harbor lay.  The longer we remained at sea the greater the chance for our 35 foot boat to capsize. Though the water streamed in slowly, its inflow could eventually cause us to sink into the sea. 

Stephen opened the compartment under his seat and fetched his telescope.  This high-powered viewfinder came in handy on past cruises.  He scanned up and down, right and left, but saw only black.  As he searched towards the southwest, he discerned a flicker of light.  Centering on the area, he smiled and declared, “I see a lighthouse”  “Where?” the three of us asked.  We then took turns viewing the precious find.

We quickly set sail towards the beacon.  With the wind behind us and our engine on full throttle we made it safely to shore.  The boat was repairable, and we each gave thanks for the lighthouse that guided us to safety.

This story had a happy ending.  Trouble in our own lives sometimes resolves well, as in the story.  At other times, difficulty lingers and we may wonder where to turn. 

The four men sat at sea alone in the dark.  They were sinking and had no way to contact anyone for help.  After searching, they found a lighthouse that directed them to safety.

Life was not meant to be lived in the dark.  We would have problems functioning at home or on the job without its illumination.  There is a light that burns brighter than the light we can perceive with our eyes.  The sun in all its brilliance cannot compare with it.  I am referring to The Light of the World - another name for Jesus Christ.  The scripture says that in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5).  His light can steer a trouble-tossed life to safe ground.  His love brings true peace and healing.  He is a refuge in times of trouble (Psalms 46:1). 

2,000 years ago, Jesus hung beneath a darkened sky.  His arms stretched wide, red with blood.  His feet pressed hard against the vertical beam.  It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross: it was His heart of love for you and me.  Jesus died in our place as a sinless sacrifice.  The scripture says it was because of our own sin that Jesus journeyed to the cross. 

He, who had no sin, offered his own life to bring us back into relationship with God (Isaiah 53:4-6).  Three days after his death, he rose victoriously from the dead.  By accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can be forgiven and experience the joy of being accepted into God’s family.

God desires to have a personal and loving relationship with you.  He wants to help you in life’s trials.  He longs to guide you and shine his light on your path.  As long as we live in this world, there will be trouble, but living without the Savior is like trying to fight an enemy blindfolded.  True light for our spiritual lives can only come through Jesus. 

If you desire to receive Jesus into your life, pray this prayer with all of your heart...

Dear Father God,

I realize that I need you in my life.  I have tried to live without  your Light to guide me.  I am sorry for my sins.  Thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place.  I believe that Jesus, the Son of God, rose again.

Jesus please come into my heart.  I am now your child, and I thank you that I will one day go to heaven.  I choose to live for You, and I thank You for helping me during the trials of life when they come.  In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

To cultivate your newfound relationship with God, here are some helpful tips...

Read the Bible daily – it is food for our soul. A chapter a day is a good place to start.  It might be helpful to concentrate initially on the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.

Pray daily - it’s like water for our spiritual nourishment.  Prayer is talking to God.  Give Him your cares and concerns; thank Him for His love and blessings.  Ask Him for forgiveness, when you need to.  The Lord will forgive you and help you get up and try again (1 John 1:9).  Talk and listen - prayer is two-way communication with God.

Tell others about Jesus - don’t be afraid to let your light shine.   The Lord will help you let others know about His love.

Find a good church where the people love God and where the Bible is preached with compassion and conviction.

Ask Jesus to fill you, to overflowing, with His Holy Spirit.

Congratulations, you have now made the most important decision of your life!  So begins a new and highly significant chapter in your life.  You can thank God that you have His light to guide you each day, from now to eternity.

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