I love the story of Earnest Shackleton and his crew’s attempt to be the first men to explore and travel across Antartica.
Here is an advertisement he posted in the news paper just before the journey.
In 1914 Ernest Shakleton headed toward the frozen Antartica in a ship called “The Endurance” with 28 crew members, with the purpose of being the first man to cross the massive slab of ice. Everything was going just fine until he actually reached the beginning of his goal.
Just on the northwestern side of Antartica disaster confronted the captain and his crew. The expedition was stopped cold when “The Endurance” became fixed and frozen the ice floes. The crew could not get free from the ice, leaving Shackleton and his men trapped on their ship for over a year. When spring arrived they
were still held in the clutches of the frozen waters with nope hope of continuing their adventure. A thousand miles from the nearest civilization , they eventually had to abandon their ship and set up camp on the ice floe were they sat and watched their ship sink caused by the pressure of the crushing ice.
With their camp set up on the ice floe they were hoping that it would drift them toward Paulet Island. After two months and numerous failed attempts to reach the Island, they set out in their life boats and landed on Elephant Island. This was the first time they had stood on land in 497 days. With no shipping lanes even close by Shakleton made plans to leave the ice floe with five of his men to attempt to reach Georgia.
Here is the part of the story that get my attention. Shackleton gave the order that each man was limited to two pounds of gear for their personal items. To illustrate just how serious he was, he threw away his personal gear in front of the men…..then he help up a thick book and said, “This is the ship’s Bible that was given to us by the Queen before this voyage. I am keeping only three pages.” He placed the Bible down on the ice and held up those three torn thin pages. Then he read one line: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” Amazing, Shackleton knew that they were in a deep critical place but God was with them.
For the next fifteen days they sailed through the waters of the southern ocean. Their little life boat was pounded by the powerful pummeling seas. Finally, they were in sight of the cliffs of Georgia. But this was not the end. They were trapped in hurricane force winds and had to ride out the storm but finally reached the shores of safety.
After 36 hours of crossing the island they reached a whaling station were Shackleton sent a rescue crew to gather the other men left behind.
All 28 men survived the ordeal each with his own story of survival.
If you are going to survive your journey it will take a long obedience in the same direction.
We live in a in a world where we can have instant everything. Fast food, Microwaved meals and instant coffee.
That kind of living messes us up when we can’t have everything we want right now.
Sometimes a “wilderness experience” or a “trial” can make us feel like we are never going to get to our destination.
You can have a wilderness experience anywhere: at a graveside, in a bed of sickness, during a divorce. The wilderness is a place where:
(1) There seems to be no end in sight and nobody to rescue you. In Scripture the number 40 often represents long, hard struggle. Noah experienced storms for 40 days; Moses spent 40 years of loneliness in the desert; Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days. (Wow! Most of us can’t last 40 minutes!).
(2) You imagine the unimaginable. The wilderness weakens your resolve. It makes you look for an easy way out.
But God’s Word says, “If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God…you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath” (Dt 28:1&13 AMP). The difference between being under the situation and on top of it, lies in one word – obedience. Want to get on top of things? Do what God prompts you to, and be resolute about it!
Keep a Long obedience in the same direction and you will reach your goal.
Steve Lummer (blogging to himself)