By Bruce Green
Teaching Minister at 10th Street Church of Christ
Well, that was interesting, wasn’t it?
On Tuesday morning, March 23, the nearly ¼ mile long, 200,000 ton Japanese-owned container vessel, Ever Given, was making its way through the Suez Canal when a blinding sandstorm struck. The ship was turned sideways, and it ended up getting wedged into opposite banks in a narrow portion of the Canal—making it impossible for anything else to get by.
Twelve percent of the world’s international trade and 30% of shipping container freight goes through the Canal. It connects Asia with Europe and without it, ships must sail around Africa which adds about 2 weeks to their tip. When the Ever Given was finally dislodged almost a week later, there were 420 ships waiting. It had caused major backups in the supply chain and was holding up about 9 billion dollars of trade—per day!
They had dredged over 30,000 cubic meters of sand and employed a fleet of tugboats. The rudder and propeller were freed, but the rest of the massive ship hadn’t budged. Their hopes for refloating the ship weren’t looking good and the alternative was the time consuming, costly process of unloading the ship’s cargo to reduce its weight.
But they had one more chance. There was going to be a supermoon (a full moon that occurs when the moon is closest to the earth) on Sunday. It would produce a king tide that would raise the water level about a foot-and-a-half. This would hopefully provide the margin the salvage crews needed to refloat the ship.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Sometimes we can find ourselves in a situation that seems very much like that of the Ever Given. We’re wedged into circumstances that seem inescapable. No matter how hard we try, we can’t extricate ourselves. Like David when Saul was seeking his life, we don’t just need the strength of friends (a good salvage crew and a fleet of tugboats)—we need the strength of God (Someone who can make moon move and the tides rise).
That’s exactly how it worked out for David because in his time of need, he found in Jonathan more than a friend—he found a friend who “helped him find strength in God” (1 Samuel 23:16). What God did with the moon through the natural laws He established to free the Ever Given from the sands of the Suez, He has done in a much more direct manner through the intervention of His Son on the cross to free us from the sandbar of sin. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He has raised us up with Christ to a new life.
We’ll take all of the salvage crews and tugboats we can get in life, but what we really need is the deliverance God gives us through Jesus Christ. The story of the Ever Given is great; but the story of the forgiven is glorious!
You can find more of Bruce’s writings at his website: a-taste-of-grace-with-bruce-green.com