May - 17 - Thursday

He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. … Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses.. … So he guides them to their desired haven.
Psalm 107, 25, 28, 30

It is fascinating to read the history of the exploration of the continents and the oceans. Important journeys of exploration have often been repeated. Magellan’s voyage, for example, on which he discovered the straits named after him between the extreme southern tip of South America and Tierra del Fuego in 1520, was recently undertaken again. For this purpose a copy of his caravel was used.

When a film of this journey was shown, the spectators were deeply impressed, particularly during the scene when the boat entered the famous Magellan Straits. The high waves and the raging surge were truly dramatic. The expert commentator explained: “When one is on such a small, fragile boat in such a place and amid such scenery, in moments like that everyone believes in God.”

What could man do against the unleashed powers of nature in any case? He becomes aware how tiny and powerless he is. And in times of helplessness many consider the greatness of the Creator and pray to Him. Is it in order to pray to God solely when in distress, then to forget Him and continue living apart from him? In dealings among men no one who has been saved from certain death through the courage of another would afterwards pass his rescuer by without greeting him!

“Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD” (Psalm 107, 43).