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  • Pastor Ralph

God's Compass

Living in Nova Scotia, close to the ocean, gave me a new and expanded understanding of both the beauty and the raw power of it. I can remember, vividly, the first time I drove over the North Mountain and looked down at the Bay of Fundy on a cold winters day: the awesome ice flows. the sheer volume and force of the ice moving. It was, in many ways, a scary sight. The ocean is something to be respected and feared. What intense and untarnished power at work! No wonder the Psalmist uses the ocean, as an analogy, to depict the incredible power of God, “You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them” (Psalm 8:8 NIV). The following story caught my eye; it depicts the extraordinary challenges of navigating the Antarctica and the importance of trusting the directional tools. It is an incredible tale of courage, endurance and trust!

“In 1914, Ernest Shackleton and a team of explorers set out from England to do something that no one before had accomplished—cross Antarctica from one side to the other across the South Pole. Disaster struck when the team’s ship, Endurance, became entrapped in ice and eventually sank after her hull was crushed. Marooned on nearby Elephant Island, there seemed little hope for their survival.

In a desperate effort to get help, Shackleton and five others set out in a twenty-foot lifeboat across some of the most dangerous and storm-filled waters in the world. It was an eight hundred-mile journey to South Georgia Island where help could be found. For fifteen days the men battled the treacherous seas and massive storms with waves of up to one hundred feet. Using only a compass and a sextant, Frank Worsley (who had captained the Endurance) navigated their course until they safely reached land and found help. Shackleton procured another ship and returned to rescue all of his men. He became a national hero in England for his courage and persistence.

All of us are making our way through a stormy world. Ever since the first sin in the Garden of Eden, mankind has struggled to make wise decisions about an uncertain future. The only way to ensure that we do not go astray is to have an objective source of truth that will guide us. Just as a compass can guide sailors through dark and uncharted waters, God’s Word can guide us through uncertain and difficult circumstances. We must simply trust it—over our feelings, over our own wisdom, and over contrary advice others may give us. Because the Bible is inspired by God, it is without error, and we can always trust it.”

“All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honourably with personal integrity and moral courage]” (2 Timothy 3:16 Amplified).

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105 NLT).

May God’s word help us set our course daily

– Love,

Pastor Ralph

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