Vol. 11 No. 8 August 2009
Years ago, an experiment was conducted to measure people’s capacity to endure pain. How long could a barefooted person stand in a bucket of ice water? It was discovered that when there was someone else present offering encouragement and support, the person standing in the ice water could tolerate pain twice as long as when no one else was present. (John C. Maxwell, Encouragement Changes Everything, 25)
THOUGHT: Could it also be the case that elders could serve twice as long, preachers could work twice as long and members could be faithful twice as long if they had someone holding their hands and encouraging them? I believe that this is the case. As you know, the Book of Hebrews was written to those who were discouraged and in danger of falling away. The inspired writer of this book often exhorted brethren to encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25). In the twelfth chapter, we read these words, “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (v. 12). “But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun” (Exodus 17:12).
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:35-41)
We travel through life as if in a tiny boat, And from time to time we wonder if it will stay afloat; The winds of despair will blow us all around, In the waves of life we fear we will be drowned.
But in the darkest moments of our days, Or when simple distractions rock our ways, There is one thought that should be underscored: Wheree’er we sail we know that Jesus is onboard.
We tend to be overwhelmed by life’s sea, The trials and toils that will always be, And each and every little aggravating thing, Seems to make life’s journey rough in everything.
We have sailed over many the mirrored sea, And felt the joy of pleasant tranquility, Or have traveled at speeds so great, That life zips by so fast, a human trait.
At other times the sea is rough and untamed, And our boat tips over, our toils are blamed; And the ocean spreads like it will never end, It seems like with rough seas we will always contend.
But whether the small waves of aggravation knock us around, Or giant waves upon our lives seem to abound, It matters who is in our ship with us each day, Whether we survive our journey all the way.
So in the darkest moments of our days, Or when simple distractions rock our ways, There is one thought that should be underscored, Wheree’er we sail we know that Jesus is onboard.