Now, most of us who saw the movie 'Titanic" remember the somber scene where John Jacob Astor and other wealthy gentlemen gathered together on the deck of the ship as it was beginning to prepare to meet her, and their, watery graves and with a couple of musicians sang that beautiful hymn. As is normal for the movies, it was somewhat overly dramatic and the real story, if indeed it is true, is that they gathered in the piano bar to join in a final hymn, having given up seats on the limited availability of lifeboat space so that women and children might have the possibility of being spared. Regardless of its validity or not, it makes for a good story and I could think of someone standing at the window of their threatened home on either Ocracoke or Hatteras islands under flood, wind and rain threat and imagine them considering the possibility of death in the storm. Following are the first two verses of the hymn, followed by why those words should give us hope and comfort in a situation like that.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me; Still all my song would be nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I'd be nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! - Verses one and two, "Nearer My God to Thee"
While fear is a natural feeling in a possibly hopeless situation, faith in the power of the Cross and He who bore it for us should give us comfort and I'm sure it did for many on those islands on Friday. That is exactly the meaning of the words of that old hymn and it's why Astor and those men might choose it to sing for their last hurrah. For you see, wanting to be nearer to God and in so doing trusting our Lord and Savior should give us peace. For just like Jesus calmed the waters of the Sea of Galilee for His disciples on that stormy morning when they were lost in a storm, He is available to calm our fears and give us hope for the future for He is that very future when we follow Him. With faith and trust in Him we can weather any storm or any outcome, safe and secure that when our time on this planet is over, our faith gives us the promise of Salvation through Him in a perfect world in heaven above. Remember that when facing any storm that comes upon us in this sinful world. It can calm us and welcome us to the real paradise, not the limitations of what we find in our temporary abode on earth. Have a blessed Sunday.