The Unsinkable Ship

Mrs. Sylvia Caldwell was a second class passenger on the Titanic.  One of the few that lived to recall that dreadful night on April 15, 1912. She marveled at the majesty of the great ship as she boarded and asked a deck hand, “Is this ship really unsinkable?”  To which he replied, “Yes, lady, God himself could not sink this ship.”

While that story may be an urban legend, it is a fact that White Star Line hailed the ship “practically unsinkable.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster.  In the early morning hours the ship hit an iceberg and 1,503 of its 2,308 passengers died.  There are many interesting stories of heroism and unselfish sacrifice of those who lost their lives while trying to save others.

One of the survivors, Ernst Ulrik Persson, by his own account, was pulled into one of the lifeboats by Lady Jacob Astor, the wife of millionaire developer John Jacob Astor — the richest passenger on the ship who did not survive.

While reflecting on this anniversary and reading some of the stories, There were several lessons that came to my mind. 

 (1) Everyone is in the same boat when tragedy strikes.  Rich and poor.  Young and old.  Male and female.  Problems, pain and suffering is no respector of persons. Death eventually comes to all.  The ancient Preacher of Ecclesiastes observed it was so.  That was true on the Titanic.  It is true today 100 years later. 

(2) Values are quickly altered in dire circumstances. What was once important is inconsequential.  And what once seems insignificant takes on greater worth.  The story is told of a wealthy lady who was in her state-room when she heard the orders to abandon ship.  There is no time to pack possessions. On her dressing table she saw her jewelry box and a bowl or oranges.  She quickly decided that the jewels were “worthless” in this situation, but that the fruit might nourish her on the open sea.  Even more valuable is the soul–of greater worth than all the world’s riches. (Matt 16:26) 

(3) The Titanic reminds us how quickly life can change.  One moment we’re enjoying pleasure.  The next our life hangs in the balance.  Our peaceful lives are disturbed by events out of our control. Survivor Eva Hart remembers the night,”I saw all the horror of its sinking, and I heard, even more dreadful, the cries of drowning people.”  Truly, James was right, our lives are but “a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (Jas. 4:13). 

(4) Man’s boasting is vain.  Columnist Cal Thomas wrote, “The Titanic was a monument to the glory and presumed omnipotence of human ingenuity, which was also destroyed.”  Indeed, “Pride goes before destruction,  And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18).  The ship once thought virtually unsinkable, sank! 

However, there was one boat in history that was unsinkable.  It was the boat on which the apostles were sailing when a ferocious storm arose.  The winds were fierce.  The waves were coming into their little craft. They felt like they were going to die.  But, Jesus was on that boat.  Asleep.  But when he was awakened by the frightened fisherman, he calmly stilled the storm with His words, “Peace, be still.” (Mark 4:35-41)

Today, Jesus can navigate our frail vessel across the tempestuous sea of life.  The ships of men can sink.  And they will sink.  But the one unsinkable ship is the one on which Jesus is the Pilot.  Come on board!  Your destination is guaranteed! 

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Christian Living

6 responses to “The Unsinkable Ship

  1. Excellent post, and so true; we can take an important lesson from this story and others like it about humility and about following Jesus Christ, the Captain of our Ship!

  2. Lynne Wilson

    Love the idea of choices!

  3. I appreciate these comments/lessons from the Titanic. No matter what man builds it can be destroyed and even completely removed by natural disaster. How powerful our God truly is when we see the power in this world that He has created. The greatest choice we make is to love and obey the Father, His Son and His Spirit, and we will be in the “unsinkable ship!”

  4. c young

    In 1946 there was a similar situation in Atlanta,Georgia. The Winecoff Hotel was billed as “absolutely fireproof.”There were no fire escapes or emergency exits.The open staircase acted as chimney on Dcember 7,1946 when the fireproof hotel caught fire.119 people died int= the “absolutely fireproof” hotel.The steel and cocncrete building was fireproof but the furniture,carpeting,paneling ,etc was not.

  5. abible

    I read the article and a GREAT piece of writing. Thanks for your work! Brad @

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