In a world of 7 billion souls, it’s easy to suppose that we are lost in a sea of faces, and yet each of us is ‘personally, individually and independently related to God’. We have His undivided attention.
An Englishman in the early 1960’s rented a cove from the British government in the Island of South Georgia, in the South Atlantic so he could conduct an experiment in solitude. A troubled chap in many ways, in an interview before he embarked on the journey, he told reporters he was ‘looking for something’. His daughter pressed a Bible into his hand as they parted.
He was well equipped for the 18-month stay and quickly erected his wooden hut and brought his supplies inside. After a few weeks, a highly localised Tsunami-like storm hit the usually secluded cove. A wave crashed through his window; swept him out of his bed, and straight through the wall, at which point the storm abated. Most of his hut and belongings were sucked back out into the Atlantic.
Alone, with no communication with the outside world, he stood in a wet string vest in the freezing wind. He ran to retrieve what was left behind. He found a bag of dry clothes, a serviceable tent, dry matches, and what rations, tools and supplies were left. The ‘suicide kit’ he had prepared had been swept away but his box of vitamins remained.
The uncontrollable fury of nature had been tempered by a benevolent hand that had ensured that the essentials remained. His own meticulous preparations and planning had instantly been brought to nought but he felt he was not alone.
Sometimes the potter has to ‘rough-up’ the clay a bit when He throws it on the wheel and spins it ‘round (perhaps adding a little water) so it can be moulded and reshaped. During the months that followed, God prepared his heart for a more formal introduction.
After 3 months a seal hunting vessel rescued him and he left the island with his journals, a bottle of scotch, and the still unopened Bible. He sat before it on the ship, and asked God if it was He who arranged all this, opened it and his eyes fell on the words of Ps 33 Verse 7 “He gathers the waters of the sea together as in a heap, He puts the deep in storehouses.” He had another 40 years of life after that with which to build on that meeting.
Those who seek the Lord will find Him, He will prepare our hearts for it and reveal Himself.
I had hoped my own personal epiphany might look like a scene from the Cecil B De Mille movie, a mountain top, a burning bush, heavenly music….but no. It was on the hard shoulder of the autobahn near the bleakest town in Germany and on much of the 900 mile journey home on tow trucks, trains, busses, a ship but that’s a long story…