Posts Tagged ‘Cape Horn’

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HOLD FAST – Jan. 15

January 15, 2013

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31-32

I don’t think that my adventurous spirit is sufficient enough to have sought to be a sailor in the era of the great sailing ships.   I am awed by those sailors who would leave the safety of land to venture into the unknown of the sea with only the sky as a guide and the wind to propel them.  My minimum requirements for such an adventure are engines, GPS and a satellite phone.

I fully respect the courage of those sailors.  They were on their own.  Their entire security was within the oak timbers and cloth sails of their vessel.  There was no rescue from the Coast Guard if you were washed over.  Their ship was their life.

I imagine that it did not take a lot of courage to sail through the doldrums.  The doldrums refer to those areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans affected by a low-pressure zone around the equator where the prevailing winds are very calm. (Intertropical Convergence Zone)  I think that I could easily handle sailing through the doldrums.

Sailing around Cape Horn is another matter.  “Rounding the Cape” takes courage.  Cape Horn is the sailing route around the southern tip of South America.  It is notorious for being one of the most dangerous ship passages in the world. The Cape is known for fierce winds, large waves, icebergs and as a sailors’ graveyard.  Sailing the Cape takes courage.

capehornStaying in the vessel is life or death when sailing the Cape.  In the doldrums, the risk of getting washed over is slight.  Therefore, I imagine that sailors are a bit lackadaisical in moving about the ship.  The risk of getting washed over “rounding the Cape” was likely if you were to miss-step.  “Holding fast” is paramount in rough seas.

I like the old sailor saying of “hold fast.” A rope on board a ship is called “fast” when it is firmly secured to the vessel.  To “hold fast”, is to cling to security.  It is to grasp onto your life line.  Death is what awaited a sailor who failed to “hold fast” in rough seas.   I imagine that there have been many a sailor “holding fast” as they braved the treacherous seas of Cape Horn.

Jesus gives a similar “hold fast” warning.  He tells us that “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.”  God’s word is our line that secures us to Christ.  Our security lies in Christ alone.  We are to abide – remain in place – continue – dwell – endure – in His word.  Abide in His word proves that we are Christ’s disciples.  How are we supposed to do that?

Are we abiding in His word if we never read it?

Are we dwelling in His word if we never study it?

How can we continue in His word if we don’t recognize it?

There is a quote by C.H. Spurgeon, “Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vol. 1, that I fear is too true:

“There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write ‘damnation’ with your fingers.”

The truth of this quote lies in Jesus’ warning to “hold fast” to his word.  The act of having a Bible is similar to a sailor knowing where a secure line is on a ship while strolling the decks in the doldrums.  Reading your Bible is like a sailor clinging to a ship rope while being pulled to the rails by the crashing waves and biting winds of Cape Horn.

We are to “hold fast” to God’s word.  We are to cling to it – abide in it – like our lives depend upon it … because they do.  I guess this is one of my greatest concern for many of my professing brothers and sisters in Christ.  I see very little abiding in the word – I see very few who are dwelling in God’s word – I wonder how many are  “holding fast” or even know Jesus’ words.

This is why I write these blogs from my own daily Bible reading.  My hope is that all who read them will feel the Spirit’s tug on their hearts to wipe the dust off their own Bibles and start “holding fast” to the incredible words of our Lord and Savior.  Let’s “hold fast” together; let’s encourage one another to “hold fast”; let’s out do one another in “holding fast”; let’s “hold fast” to the glory of our Lord and Savior.

ships-cook-hold-fast.

PRAYER: Lord, my secure lies in you alone.  You are my safety in all times.  You are what I can trust in.  Your words are life to me. Father, write them on my heart – bring them to my mind – help me to meditate upon them day and night.  Father, teach me how to hold fast to them; to cling to them.  Give me an appetite for your word that surpasses my appetite for anything else of this world.  Amen

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