Do you feel headed for shipwreck?

The ocean liner Achille Lauro sailed perpetually under a dark cloud. In 1953 it collided with another ship. In 1975 it rammed a Lebanese vessel, killing four people. In 1981 it suffered a fire that claimed two lives. In 1985, Palestinian terrorists grabbed world headlines by seizing the ship, slaying passenger Leon Klinghoffer, and dumping him and his wheelchair overboard. In December of 1994, off Somalia, a fire broke out in the engine room, forcing all 1,000 aboard to abandon ship. Two days later, the Achille Lauro sank to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Do you think of yourself as having similar fortune to the Achille Lauro? Maybe your heart echoes this paraphrase of Jobís complaints:

"I wish I had never been born! (He says this sort of thing for 13 verses!) Iím up against a brick wall with no way out. All I ever do is sigh and groan. My troubles are like a sandbag sitting on top of me. Itís like Iíve been shot with poisoned arrows, besieged by an army of terrors! Do you think Iím complaining wihout good reason? My life is like eating tasteless food; it makes me sick. If only God would just kill me and get it over with! The pain never stops. Iím too weak to hope anymore. Day and night, I have nothing but misery. My time is running out, and thereís no hope. Someday soon Iíll be gone. Youíll look around, but I will have vanished. I have a right to complain and be bitter. I canít get any sleep, or if I do, I have terrifying dreams. Iíd prefer strangling to that kind of sleep! God uses me for target practice. Why doesnít He just forgive me? Soon Iíll be dead."

Hereís the good news: We serve a God that can reach us in our time of need, no matter where we are. The psalmist knew this by experience: ďIf I make my bed in the depths. . . even there you hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fastĒ (Ps. 139:10). Even if we feel submerged in sorrows, sinking down to the bottom of the ocean, from the deepest of those depths He can lift us up.

God did not abandon Job, but sustained him through his suffering. He will not abandon us, either. Even if you sense a dark cloud is following you around, that you have no answers to your questions, God is faithful. Turn to Him, call to Him, seek His face. He wants to be found, and He is never far away to those whose hearts reach out to Him.

—Steve Singleton