studying at st barnabas

Babel, The Titanic and Faith

The words of a Titanic baggage handler to a nervous passenger are well-recorded, “Lady, God Himself could not sink this ship.” The delicious irony is that they were said to Sylvia Caldwell, a missionary returning from Thailand, someone who would have known that God was capable of much more than that.

The Bible is full of people who underestimated the power of God, but the most hilarious is recorded in Genesis 11: 1-9. Full of their own self-importance, a group of people on earth decided to build a tower to the heavens in order to challenge the authority of God. Far from succeeding in their enterprise, God had to ‘come down’ to see what they were doing. The contrast between the puny humans, who were completely unaware of the impossibility of their task, and the immensity of the Creator of the universe, is what provides the humour in the situation.

But those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. How often do my prayers betray a lack of appreciation for the limitless power of God? How often do I not trust in his ability to shape circumstances to his purposes? How often do I imagine that human-wrought plans can override his will? Time and time again I need to say with the man of Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!

Jenny Hein

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