The Finest Hours

On my return flight from Japan last week, I watched a movie that I probably would have never seen had I not been on an airplane over the vast Pacific Ocean. I was initially reluctant to watch it because I thought it would be boring.

The movie is entitled, The Finest Hours, starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. It is a true story (which was the reason why I chose to watch it) about what is considered to be the greatest and most daring rescue ever by the United States Coast Guard.

In 1952, an oil tanker named the SS Pendleton is sheared in half during a nor’easter (which is a macro-scale storm along the upper East Coast) leaving over thirty members of the crew stranded in the midst of the storm on half a ship.

U.S. Coast Guard coxswain Bernie Webber takes three men on a small Coast Guard lifeboat and sets off on a suicide mission to try to rescue the men. It is a story of courage and perseverance on the part of the Coast Guardsmen.

As I watched the movie, I thought of the words spoken to Joshua and the people of Israel before entering the dangerous waters of the Promised Land. The Lord said, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Interestingly, I cried three times during the movie. In each instance, it was when the Coast Guardsmen displayed incredible courage and self-sacrifice in order to save men that they didn’t even know.

Upon reflection, my thoughts turn to the One who displayed incredible courage and perseverance to save those whom, in His humanity, He didn’t even know. In His finest hours, Jesus was arrested, tried, tortured, stripped of His dignity and nailed to a cross, yet He stayed the course. In His final hour, He uttered, “It is finished” and He provided a way of salvation for all those who believe.

I love true stories of courage and perseverance against all odds. It reminds me of Jesus.

Something to think about…