The USS Thresher and USS Scorpion are the only nuclear-powered attack submarines the Navy ever lost.
The Thresher sank in April 1963, 220 miles east of Cape Cod along with its crew of 129 men. The Scorpion’s demise still remains a mystery. The evidence suggests that the 99 Sailors aboard perished on May 22, 1968 while crossing the Atlantic from Gibraltar. But they weren’t destroyed by enemy fire. System failures caused the loss of power and control. This allowed these state of the art vessels to dive uncontrollably until they reached “crush depth.”
For the Scorpion and Thresher crush depth occurred somewhere around 2,000 feet. At crush depth the water pressure is about 80,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). Therefore, during the construction and overhaul of submarines, even the tiniest cracks in a sub’s welds must be corrected. What seems negligible on the surface can turn catastrophic in the ocean’s crushing depths. This is why the construction of the USS Seawolf was halted when mere hairline fractures were discovered in its welds. The Seawolf was designed to withstand pressures of 100,000 PSI. But at a depth of 2,000 feet one tiny flaw can compromise the integrity of the entire vessel.
God is correcting the tiny flaws in us so that we can survive the pressures of future responsibilities and challenges. God does not want us to be like King Saul. Saul rose to the throne overnight and proved completely ill-prepared for the pressures that came with it. He proved no match for the temptations that fame, power, and political intrigue brought (1 Samuel 12-15).
It’s far better to be like David. God caused him to endure years of adversity before allowing him to become king! Even though David had been anointed by Samuel the prophet and the Holy Spirit these blessings were not enough. (1 Samuel 16:13) He still had to graduate from the school of hard knocks (1 Samuel 18-31).
Wasn’t the same true of Jesus our Lord?
“Even though He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8)
God’s will was “to perfect the Captain of our salvation through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10).
The Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, yet He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Even David buckled under the weight of responsibility and temptation of the throne. But because God had previously fortified and confirmed him through years of affliction, he escaped total destruction.
So, if you’re not moving along as quickly as you had hoped or, if God is allowing roadblocks to impede your rapid rise to the top, don’t stress. God is preparing you before He turns you loose into His service. Let’s all submit ourselves to the Lord’s discipline. He knows what he’s doing. Truly, “whom the Lord loves He disciplines and He chastens everyone He receives as a son” (Hebrews 12:6). It is a matter of our survival that God scrutinizes our character and corrects our every flaw.
Dear Father in heaven,
Please forgive my chronic complaining and obstinacy as You seek to correct my flaws and make me more like Christ. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” Amen.