Marooned

Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned …

Psalm 37:25

 Do you remember the story of Robinson Crusoe? The famous book by Daniel Defoe about this character has been popular for almost three centuries because of the compelling tale of the tremendous trails faced by this castaway.

What many of us may not be aware of is that Crusoe was derived from an actual individual who, after being marooned, endured incredible difficulties during his stay on a deserted island.  Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish privateer and Royal Navy officer, was abandoned in 1704 by his ship’s captain after a dispute regarding the seaworthiness of their vessel (Selkirk was correct; the ship soon foundered—and the captain and crew were forced to surrender to enemy forces).

Selkirk had been given few supplies when marooned on the uninhabited island:  a musket, a hatchet, a knife, a cooking pot, a Bible, bedding and some clothes. His survival was aided by skills he had learned in his youth, and he sang psalms and read from that Bible for comfort and encouragement.  Months turned into four long years before Selkirk was eventually rescued.

While most of us probably can’t fathom how we’d fare in those unimaginable circumstances, we can probably relate to Selkirk’s feelings of loneliness.  What do I mean by that? Well, here are a few examples:

  • A parent abandoned you at some point in your life.
  • A spouse left you, perhaps for someone else.
  • You’re in a “relationship,” but the other person doesn’t try to connect with you.
  • You have been caring for a family member, maybe for many years, with little or no support.
  • Your life circumstances are challenging, yet no one else seems able to assist you.

And, as is often the case, this kind of list could go on and on. “Marooned” simply defined means being abandoned or left without aid.  When we examine the scope of our lives, how often—how long—have we felt like this has happened to us?

Yet as we reflect upon this real-life castaway, we can be encouraged by the fact that we aren’t totally abandoned either! Just as God provided for Alexander Selkirk on that island, He also cares for us. No one else may know how alone we feel, but He does! Indeed, centuries before Selkirk, King David wrote numerous psalms about his personal struggles with similar feelings.  Here is one example:

Turn to me and have mercy,

for I am alone and in deep distress.

My problems go from bad to worse.

Oh, save me from them all!

Psalm 25:16-17

Just like Selkirk and King David, you do not have to be on a deserted island to experience isolation—but you also don’t have to get stuck in that state of mind. Ask God for help. Pray, often and always. Search the Word for the Lord’s truths, for there you will find strength in your time of need!

 

Thought of the Month

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

 Deuteronomy 3:16