The Day Dad Missed His Ship

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
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Proverbs 16:9 – In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. (NIV)

This Bible verse was always my father's favourite one. The reason stems from the following story.

During the Second World War, my dad had orders to report for duty on a ship due to sail through the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, that stretch of water was known as Torpedo Alley.

The day his train left Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, for the seaport at Mobile, Alabama, mother and father prayed that he wouldn't miss the ship and that he would have safe travels. On the way, his passenger train was sidetracked for quite a long time to let a munitions train pass. It seemed to dad that he would surely miss his boat. Although he prayed again that he would make his ship, his fear became reality. He missed the boat.

When he reported for duty, he received a reprimand from his commanding officer and was re-posted to a destroyer escort. Later, he learned that the other ship, the one that they had prayed he wouldn't miss, had been torpedoed with great loss of life.

At the time when he missed the ship, everything seemed to be going wrong for my father. However, in missing the boat, their prayers for safety had been answered. Dad's prayers didn't match up with God's plan, nor do our ideas about what ought to be always match up with what God knows is best.

The fact is that God's plan is always best, and we need to trust Him!

Prayer: Lord God, in Jesus' name, we pray that we would know Your will for our lives and that our plans would conform to it. Amen.

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About the author:

Cassandra Wessel <>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true Cass.

    Thanks for sharing this story. God surely works in mysterious ways!

    This really touched my heart. Thanks

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story.
    Truly God knows best.

    Thanks for sharing this story, Cass. What a blessing in your family’s lives.

    Dear Sandy,
    Yes, well, that was for me today.

    Good morning Cassandra,
    Thank you for your testimony “The Day Dad Missed His Ship”. I am certain that your testimony will touch many people.

    Hi Cass,
    As always your words of wisdom have blessed me and reminded me of the peace we have in knowing this absolute truth.

    Cass – I enjoyed hearing about your dad’s experience. It encouraged me to keep trusting the Lord even when my prayers seem to go unanswered.

    Great message with a powerful scripture that we needed to hear!
    God bless.

    Reminds me of the story of the man ordered off the boat by his religious superiors when it made its last stop in Ireland. The boat was the Titanic and the man was Francis Browne.

    Good morning Cass
    We certainly do not see the whole picture, but God does. Sometimes He saves and at other times, He allows horrific events to happen. I’m thinking of 9/11; such a devastating and horrific tragedy. It is at those times that I find it hard to trust in His will.

    Amen Cass, how true it is! My Uncle missed his plane while travelling years ago for business. He was upset. The plane crashed.
    Indeed God is able and does guide our steps. He knows the number of our days.

    Thank you Cassandra!
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation! 2 Cor.1:3. I am reminded of the day my dad came back from the war alive. So many died in the battle, others wounded.
    To be consoled by God of mercies is a continuous blessing!

    I have a similar story regarding my father. He was an Air Force pilot, and was scheduled to take a flight east following a meeting. The meeting ran longer than expected, and he missed the flight. Our neighbour who had travelled west with him, did catch the flight home. My mother saw the dreaded officers walk up to our neighbours door just as the phone rang. Dad was calling to let us know that although the plane had crashed, he was not on it. He asked Mom to go to the neighbours to support them in their loss. Only God knows the number of our days, and the work he has for us. We must prayerfully trust him.

    Dear Cassandra,
    Our God certainly does answer prayers in ways we can’t fathom at the time.
    I had a similar experience driving a car full of little ‘Beavers’ (mini-boy scouts) to a weekend camping trip.
    One of them forgot his medication and we had to turn back to get it. Meanwhile, a rare tornado passed through the highway just when we would have there if we had been on schedule. Naturally, I thanked God for his providential care.

    Dearest Cass!
    Thank you for writing to us.
    My Dad was a soldier in the Canadian Army fighting in Belgium. He developed pneumonia and was evacuated to Britain. He said pneumonia saved his life. My grandmother said her prayers saved his life.
    My grandmother’s words were the seeds for what I believe now about prayer.
    The LORD does indeed order our steps.
    Be encouraged in your well-being.

    Hi Cassandra,
    it is amazing how things work out sometimes. In 1944, we lived near a German Air Base, now the Amsterdam Airport, and it was being bombed by allied forces. For safety’s sake our parents contemplated sending our family to stay with my mother’s brother. Somehow it never materialized and one of the fiercest battles in the Netherlands took place there, (there was even a movie made about it, “A bridge too far”) Who knows what would have happened if we had gone there. A similar story as yours. Amazing how things work out sometimes.
    Thank you for writing, it brought back this memory of so long ago.

    Dear Cassandra,
    Thanks for sharing the story of your father being saved from being torpedoed.
    God works in great ways for those who pray. Possibly people on the sunken boat had prayed too. We don’t know. But we do know God has good reasons for what he does.
    Let us keep praying for our whole world, especially those places where there is war now, and for the spread of the gospel of grace through Jesus who gave his life in grace for all of us.

    Thanks for sharing your story Cassandra.
    I was given the same scripture in proverbs by an elder lady when I was forced to close down a business. It was my idea and I thought God would come along for the ride.

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