CHANNEL MARKERS

We were in Nawiliwili on the Island of Kauai. It was our last port before returning to Honolulu. We viewed the harbor into which we had docked and thought about the maneuvering that this large vessel must do in order to get back out into the ocean. There would be little room for error. If the wind should rise, the entire process would be more complicated than ever.

Standing on deck, I was reviewing the events of the previous week when a Norwegian Cruise Line ship had run aground in Bermuda. There they have a long narrow channel, close to twenty miles, that finally enters Two Rock Passage and subsequently to Hamilton Harbor. One stands on the deck and thinks: “I could jump from here to land, the space is so narrow.” The ship had missed the channel markers and buoys that would have kept it free of the coral reef that held it firmly. Finally the tide came in about 12 hours later and they were able to get on their way.

Just as quickly, my mind went back to a day that I had spent on a tugboat in New York Harbor. Our tug had been the instrument used to move several ships from their docks. I recalled how we sensed our insignificance as we approached one of the super-tankers that carried oil and how I was assured that the tug would move it without any problem.

Now, here we were, moving ever so slowly away from the dock. I watched the channel markers intently. All the while, I marveled at the power of the thrusters that did much of the work, assisted by the tug. We moved sideways until it seemed we would touch the other side of the harbor, gradually angling into position. Then came the forward motion; the water was being pushed against the bulkheads close by. Hardly clearing that hurdle, we immediately had to make a 180-degree turn to avoid going into the shore that was directly ahead of us. With that completed, the tug released us and we headed for open water.

Through all of this, I thought about the Captain of our liner and his ability. Granted, he had to be a professional and proficient at his responsibilities or he would never have been accorded the privilege of becoming Master of such a ship. I felt comfortable under his control and marveled at his prowess.

That which left us with a sense of assurance was the fact that this man was watching the channel markers. He had to follow the guidelines established for operation of the vessel, and he had to abide by the channel markers that said in effect: “Go here and not there.” He could not fulfill his duties, maneuver in safety, or take this liner to its destination without abiding by the channel markers. Feeling had to yield to established laws.

God has given to us His Word. It is the established Law. It is the textbook on Eternal Life. Deviation from it leads to shipwreck. A man reaches the harbor of safety and eternal life as he yields his feelings and his opinions to God and the criteria of His established manual. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Review John 10:9 – “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Verse 11 says: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” There is NO OTHER WAY to Heaven except through the Lord Jesus Christ. HE is the channel of safety and security… there is no other way.

We encourage you, our reader, to place your faith in HIM as Savior and Lord. Determine to act in accordance with His established Word, the Bible. You will never arrive at the destination of Heaven without such a commitment. His channel marker is that guarantee.

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