The M/V Golden Ray turned on its side in the midst of the Brunswick River near St. Simons Island, not far from the Atlantic coast of the state of Georgia in 2019. Apparently it has been determined the cargo was not properly balanced by sufficient ballast and before the normally stable cargo vessel traveled from its mooring more than a short distance it lost its balance and turned on its side.
Nothing has been reported about sea worthiness of the design. The fault lay in the loading and counter measures for balance that are necessary to keep a vessel upright especially in poor weather conditions and high seas.
What of the Ark?
Reading a recent news spot on the progress of cleanup from the shipwreck, thoughts of the Ark of Noah's construct with its unstable cargo began to bob to the surface of my early morning, coffee invigorated mind. Questions like how the limited numbers of animals – which meant they couldn't spare any - and the small eight person crew - also non to spare - manage to survive the tumultuous waters of the primeval flood? The heaving seas and opposing forces surely tested the design and likely caused growing anxiety over whether the ship would capsize in a manner not unlike the modern design tested Golden Ray.
We usually assume there was no other such vessel anything like the Ark built up to that time in our young history. Mathematics, useful in ship design, were apparently in use, but some inspiration of original nature must have attended the genius mind of the patriarch.
By the time of Noah's commission to build we are told the human state of affairs had reached a level of perversion that called for judicious response. Humanity had capsized and gone belly up. Too often the God of the Bible has been criticized for not managing His creation more closely. How could he possibly allow evil into the world, and having done so, whatever His reasoning, what is His current thinking on the pervasive nature of it we experience today?
The Golden Ray had a great design, not unlike many other ships just like it currently in production and use. The problem was not in the design. The boat was made for use in a variety of applications and outfitted to be put into service according to the will of the owners. Perhaps we should back off the accusations of flawed design a bit and focus more on uses and abuses. The flood in Noah's day was an effective eraser to wipe clean the slate of human corruption and start over. This time it would be by way of a family man carrying the library of human achievement and divine revelation in the hold of his rescue ship. Whatever evil's intent, it cannot win. The Ark's job was to convey the truth that had been nearly lost in the confusion of human mythology to the other side of the flood waters.
"For the proper attitude and response of God has been revealed against those that suppressed the truth in injustice…"
Romans 1:18 [paraphrase mine]
How did Noah's family manage to outlast the year-plus long high seas adventure, stopping leaks and rearranging loads, closed in with little exposure to the fresh air and the constant noise of the animals - suicide anyone?
Does it sound at all like your life this year?
The answer is Divine providence and supervision. He kept them safe for the sake of His larger purpose to fulfill in good time the promise to Adam and Eve, of a champion from a human family with the ability to crush the exasperator of evil and provide a new creation for us. Noah could not have done it without Him. The miracles of His interventions and providence made the passage of the Ark and its precious cargo possible. Noah knew it. He is recorded as paying immediate tribute to the Lord's oversight bringing them to safe lodging on the Ararat range.
"When the appropriate time had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the [supervision of divine] law…redeemed us"
"For when we were yet impotent to help ourselves it was then Christ died for the ungodly…demonstrating His love for us in that while humanity remained in its perversions Christ died for us."
Romans 5:6, 8
The purposes of God are in play
Untying from its berth at the Port of Brunswick, the Golden Ray embarked taking into account that every trip is a risk on many levels, but worth taking if the factors are all weighed. How many of us have travelled miles and miles over wet roads or icy conditions, with blurred vison and wear compromised tires. Even our success rising from the moorings of our beds each new morning should not be taken for granted. The purposes of God are in play. The best of designs can fail due to innumerable factors, so it is on us to implement them with care. The Golden Ray capsized due to an unbalanced load, and human error that is under investigation. The Ark, by the miracles of divine providence, made it to the safety of its new mooring. All passengers and cargo safely disembarked. One might say, with more than they left with given gestation and a fair amount of recyclables, perhaps useful in planting new vineyards.
We can make it too
The new heavens and new earth with the glories of eternity are a promised destination. Whatever happens that may make it seem like life has turned on its side the Lord by way of His careful attention will see you through to His prepared place. The Lord works all things in life together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. If you are not yet one of those enfolded in His special purpose make your break with self-determination and place the full weight of your trust in Him. He that "works all things according to the counsel of His own will" will give us buoyance.
Grace today y'all