Saturday, August 23, 2014

Startled By Storm - D. L. Moody

Peace In A Damaged Ship

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"God's peace transcends our storm to make us enjoy His Presence and focus on His power." — Abraham Israel

During a sea voyage from Southampton to New York, the evangelist D. L. Moody was suddenly startled by a crash and shock. The shaft of the vessel had broken, causing serious damage. That first night was a dark experience for the ship’s several hundred passengers. Crowded together in the saloon of the first cabin were Jews, Protestants, Catholics, and skeptics—although Moody doubted if there many skeptics among them at that time.

Sunday morning dawned without help or hope; as night came on, Moody asked permission to hold a service in the saloon. Nearly every passenger attended. Steadying himself by a pillar, Moody read out Psalms 91 and 107:20-31; he prayed that God would still the raging of the sea and bring them to their desired haven. Psalm 91:11 was profoundly touching: “He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

Moody had thought himself superior to the fear of death; he had preached on it, been fearless under fire during the Civil War, and visited the sick during a terrible cholera epidemic. But on that sinking ship it was different. He knew that there was no cloud of sin between his soul and Saviour—but what of his beloved ones at home? It almost broke him down. He had to have relief, and that came through prayer.

God heard his cry so that from the depth of his soul, Moody could say, “Thy will be done!” Sweet peace came to his heart. He went to bed, fell asleep, and never slept more soundly than in all his life. “Out of the depths I cried unto my Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears” (see Psalms 130:1 and 34:4)—that was Moody’s experience.

At about 3 A.M., Moody was roused by his son. A steamer had seen their signals of distress! It undertook to tow the damaged ship 1000 miles to Queenstown. If a storm arose, the cables connecting the two vessels would snap like a thread, but Moody was confident that God would finish what He had begun. The steamer’s captain, a man of prayer, sought God’s help in the task. Though storms were all around, none came near the broken ship. A week after the accident, due to God’s good hand upon them, a joyous thanksgiving service was held in the Queenstown harbour.

—William Revell Moody, The Life of D. L. Moody

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