Get Your Things Ready, Boys!

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-2

In 1914, an explorer named Ernest Shackleton placed an advertisement in several London newspapers.  Here's what it said: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success."

Brave men responded, and in August of 1914, Shackleton, along with 27 crewmen boarded a ship called The Endurance. It was a three-masted wooden ship. They departed from Plymouth, England, on their way to the frozen continent of Antarctica.

They began to sail, and were 100 miles from their destination, where they had planned to disembark and to walk across the continent. But during December of 1914, as they entered the ice fields of the Weddell Sea, the ice became perilous, and the ship became trapped. So Shackleton made the decision to stop and wait for a break in the ice.

An extreme drop in temperature caused the ice to enclose the ship, leaving it unable to proceed at all. They lived on board that ship for 10 months. Finally, Shackleton gave the order to abandon ship. They set up camp on an ice floe, a large hunk of sea ice floating on the ocean, and they waited for someone to rescue them. When that ice floe began to break apart, they had to move again, so Shackleton relocated the crew to an island nearby, called Elephant Island. There, he knew that they were unlikely ever to be discovered or rescued; therefore, Ernest Shackleton, along with five other men, left Elephant Island on a 22.5-foot lifeboat. As they were leaving, they promised to return for the other crewmen.

Shackleton’s stranded crew hoped their leader would come back. They knew that he intended to come back. They knew he was a brave man and a good man, and that he would do everything he could to come back to them. However, they could not be assured of his return, after all, he was just a man. As skillful as he was on the seas, he could not promise them that he would return.

Unlike those men, as we wait on the return of Jesus Christ, we know He will come back. And nothing will stop Him. The Bible tells us over and over again that Jesus is returning.

On August 30, after a 105-day trip, Shackleton returned to his crew who were waiting and watching for him. The instant he came back, he became their hero. However, there's another hero in this story. He's a man named Frank Wild. He was the second in command of the Endurance, and when Shackleton left those men there on that island, he placed Frank Wild in charge. Every day, Frank Wild maintained the schedule, gave assignments, and kept the morale high.  But the most important thing that he did was this: Every morning, he would roll up his sleeping bag, and he would call out to all of the remaining men, "Get your things ready, boys, the boss may come today." 

As we wait on the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, we need people in our lives to remind us, "Get your things ready. Jesus may come today." 

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!