A Celebration Of Thankfulness On National Maritime Day

Ninety years ago, U.S. Congress declared National Maritime Day to commemorate the American steamship Savannah’s voyage from the United States to England in 1819, marking the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by steam propulsion. Did you know that during World War II more than 250,000 members of the American Merchant Marine served, with more than 6,700 giving their lives, hundreds being detained as prisoners of war, and more than 800 U.S. merchant ships being sunk or damaged? Most of the population of the world does not live by an ocean, so those who live and work in the maritime industry don’t often cross our paths. 

However, God is always good to remind us that the good things in our life—don’t just happen by accident. 

God is so good to constantly raise our awareness to new ways to give thanks! The people who choose to live on ships which transport goods to and from places all over the world—make our lives better. Although I’ve never experienced it, I imagine it is not an easy life—extended time away from family, living at the mercy of the weather, and being confined to a ship for long periods of time. Let’s give thanks for their sacrifice! 

Of seafarers, the Psalmist wrote:

“Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep. 

For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. 

They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. 

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. 

Then they are glad because they are quiet; so, He guides them to their desired haven. 

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!”

Psalms 107:23-31

What an amazing God, who gives us help in times of need when we cry out to Him! He cares so much for EVERY person in EVERY walk of life. He cares not just for our safety from the elements of this world; but He died so we could escape eternal death. My friend, if you do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, He is waiting to welcome you into His extraordinary family. His gift of salvation is free. 

Just as Jesus is Lord over the ocean and the winds and waves obey Him; HE is Lord over all. Whether you sail the vast, majestic oceans or live on the land, Jesus loves you. He desires to live through you and to give you a life more powerful and magnificent than you can ever imagine!

Consider taking a moment today to find a way to say “thank you” to someone who is in or has been a part of the Merchant Marines and has sacrificed to help make this country great!

We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.

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6 Responses

  1. l admire the men who gave their lives as merchant Marines. In this life I am often distressed by severe trials but I am learning to give thanks in each trial. I Thessalonians 5.

    1. I am with you, Laura. He has kept me here 80 years. He still hears and answers my prayers in sickness and worry, He restores my soul, He gives me discernment and I can honestly say I have no fear. I love and honor Him with all my heart. Thank You, Jesus.

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