One of England’s finest preachers determined that his wife’s failing health must keep him from ministering at a prestigious conference in America. Although he had purchased his ticket and concluded all arrangements, the ship would sail without him. Thus, J. Stuart Holden missed a golden opportunity in the prime of a preaching career.
A devoted husband, Holden gave himself to caring for his wife and tried not to think of what he was missing on the other side of the Atlantic. We are too easily disappointed when our plans fall through; too easily discouraged when a grand opportunity is missed. Our plunge to the pits of despair exposes a lack of intimacy with God. When we walk close to Him we live with a sure knowledge that we are immortal until His plan is completed in us. Delay is often the protective hand of a loving Father. Disappointment is often the precursor of great blessing. Hardship always precedes the highest summit.
Until the day he died, J. Stuart Holden resolved to never question God’s timing. The unused ticket he held as a reminder for the rest of his life reserved his passage on a new luxury liner – the H.M.S. Titanic.