Job. Mirage.

I’ve long been fascinated by the story of the Titanic.  April 15th,  2012, marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of that mighty ship. Television specials included one on recreating the final meals served that fateful evening. (Why would we want to know this?)

Actually, a lot of new information and fantastic graphics have resulted from 33 on-site dives by director James Cameron and his team with their nifty remote rovers and state-of-the-art cameras. All you folks who saw the movie, Titanic, the first time helped fund this high-tech research.  And, by the way, the April issue of National Geographic has a stunning foldout on the ship’s tragic 2½ mile plunge to the bottom.

Then there was the 2 hour program on the work of English writer and historian, Tim Maltin. He was never satisfied with the theories as to why the lookouts on Titanic (who were not, by the way, issued binoculars) did not see the iceberg until 37 seconds before the ship struck it. A  300-foot gash through 6 watertight compartments sank the 46,000 ton vessel in less than 3 hours.

1492 souls perished.

It was a remarkably clear night, moonless, and brilliant with stars. Captain Edward Smith had remarked that the sea was “flat calm.”  While life lessons to be learned from this disaster will never be exhausted, I will quickly point out that:

1) Captain Smith had been receiving a steady stream of messages throughout the day from ships moving through the North Atlantic warning of icebergs,

2) speed was actually increased, making it likely Titanic would arrive earlier than expected in New York, a big deal in that era, and,

3) (you’ve heard this) there were 16 lifeboats for more than 2,200 passengers.

But, again, why was the iceberg not visible sooner?

Maltin began piecing together meteorological data. Titanic was moving into an area of the North Atlantic where the freezing water of the Labrador Current was pushing into the warm water of the Gulf Stream. Perfect conditions were now being created for a cold-water mirage, or refraction. This mirage would have “lifted” the horizon, cloaking an iceberg that should have been visible at least 30 minutes before impact.  It was, the captain of one ship said, “a most deceiving night,” making it impossible to see where sky ended and sea began.

I think about this while reading Job’s searing words in chapter 10:

Why have you brought me out of the womb? O, that I had perished and no one had seen me! Stop! Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort before I go . . . to the land of darkness and the shadow of death, without any order . . . where even the light is like the darkness.

Job gazes across a dark, silent expanse of pain and sees an indistinct horizon. Suffering distorts his vision. Even death seems just a vaporous refraction. He won’t sink. But he’s in a tough place.

Are you willing to take an honest look at current conditions? 

Are difficult circumstances distorting your view of your future – which, in reality, you know is in God’s hands?



6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by lavonnepowell on April 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for this great reminder Debra! My husband Dave and I have been in a very difficult place which has indeed distorted our view of the future….discouragment has been heavy upon us. But we KNOW that HE holds our future and we are hanging on to that. AND…..HE is good ALL the time!!


    • If we could just remember (and it’s hard in that hard place!) that God is already in the future, and nothing will occur that He has not prepared us for. I’ll be praying for you.


  2. Posted by lavonnepowell on April 24, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Thanks for the reminder Debra! We are holding on to Jesus even when the way is unclear and could be very discouraging! He is GOOD and He is GOD!!


  3. Posted by lavonnepowell on April 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Sorry for the double reply…I didn’t think my first one went through!! Makes it look like you received lots of responses though! Blessings on you Sister!!!


  4. Posted by Erin on April 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Thank you for wiping the lens of reality once again:) interesting facts about the fateful night as well.


  5. Wiping the lens of reality. That’s encouragement! Thank you.


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