20 June, 2024

That Sinking Feeling

by | 8 April, 2024 | 1 comment

By Doug Redford 

In 1955, Walter Lord published a book entitled A Night to Remember, in which he provided an account of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. In 1958, Lord’s book was made into a movie with the same title, nearly 40 years before the blockbuster movie Titanic came out. The Titanic was designed to be unsinkable, which proved untrue when it struck an iceberg on that fateful night. 

Ironically, in that same year of 1912, the gospel song “Love Lifted Me” was published. The lyrics are drawn from the account of Peter attempting to walk on water, as Jesus was doing, only to panic when the ferocity of the wind blew away his faith and he began to sink (Matthew 14:30). James Rowe, who wrote the lyrics to “Love Lifted Me,” used the act of Jesus lifting Peter out of the water to picture Jesus’ act of lifting him up when he was, as the first verse says, “sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more.” Just as Jesus heard Peter’s cry for help and came to his rescue, Rowe affirms that “the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry. From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.” 

Every Christian can echo Rowe’s testimony. Jesus has indeed become our Master, delivering us from the bondage of sin and death and bringing us from the “dominion of darkness” into the “kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12-13). We still, however, must live in a very broken and sinful world, a world that has become increasingly hostile toward Christians and their message. The constant storm of current events, most of them quite disheartening, can resemble the wind that caused Peter to lose his focus on Jesus and begin to sink. 

Communion provides a spiritual remedy for the “motion sickness” that the culture around us often produces. Whenever we get that “sinking feeling,” let us allow this time in our worship to help us refocus our eyes on Jesus, the one who is still “the Master of the sea” and still has the power to lift us above our troubled surroundings and give us “a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2). And let each of us remember that “when nothing else could help, love lifted me.” 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Now retired, he continues to write and speak as opportunities come. 

1 Comment

  1. Rev Gary

    Love this one!

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