It was on this day in 1945 that one of the most devastating Naval losses of World War II occurred. The U.S.S. Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sank just 12 minutes later. There were almost 1200 men aboard the ship when it was hit. 300 of those men perished when the ship went down. Most of the 900 men that survived the initial submarine attack would later wish they hadn't. Rescue did not come right away, as the Indianapolis was on a secret mission and was not even reported as being missing for almost a week later. It was discovered by accident some 5 days later when a pilot in a passing plane saw the men clinging to the wreckage of the ship. But by then, there were only 317 men remaining alive. Tiger sharks attacked and ate the rest! Survivors tell about their absolute horror of treading water after the sub attack, and watching the sharks, nearly 1200 of them, approach the feeding frenzy. Some of the survivors claimed that they actually tried to taunt the sharks into attacking them so they no longer had to wait for the inevitable. To them, death would have been a relief to just sitting in the water waiting to be eaten alive. This real-life story was portrayed in the movie Jaws when 3 of the characters talked about the incident one night while hunting the famous Great White shark. Click HERE to read the Jaws monologue of the incident.
I don't know of any problem that you or I have ever faced that could even come close to comparing to that horrific nightmare. But what happened to those men on the Indianapolis does parallel the kinds of troubles that we see almost everyday. That is, we, too are hit with problems that we don't see coming (submarine attack) and problems that we do see coming (shark attack). The solution to both of those problems is God. I don't know why some men died during the initial torpedo attack and why some of them survived. But to those who did survive, it was nothing short of a miracle. And to those who had to endure the shear terror of watching the dorsal fin of a 20-foot, man-eating Tiger Shark approach, and then to actually survive it, was also nothing short of a miracle. The Bible is clear that God chooses who He will take away and who He will leave behind. We are totally at His mercy. True, we can make decisions that put us directly in harm's way. But situations can also transpire that we don't directly cause to happen. In either account, we need to lean completely on God. Regardless of what your personal "torpedoes" and "sharks" may be at this moment, call out to God Almighty. There is absolutely nothing He can't do to help us
2 Samuel 22:31 says, "He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him".
Father, please teach us to depend totally on You for every single thing in our life. In Jesus name, Amen.