The recent deaths of four U.S. citizens at the hands of Somali pirates were a mere blip in the news scene. Things in the Mid East, notably the uprising in Libya, have eclipsed coverage of a hijacking at sea and the murder of four. Even in the limited reports I’ve seen, there’s something that has only been rather overlooked: the deeper reason that one of the couples sailed the seas.
Scott Adam had lived a successful life in Hollywood, and in recent years discovered a passion for the Scripture. He and his wife Jean decided a few years ago to take God’s Word to the unreached, sailing to foreign lands to hand out the Scriptures. They sold their homes and spent six months a year on their yacht, which was loaded with Bibles.
Jean Adam explained,
“Anytime we have workers on the boat or come into the dock and have an opportunity to talk to people we find more homes for our Bibles.”
Living with a greater purpose, the Adams were surely fulfilled and grateful for all God did through them. But their good works were no guarantee of a happy life, and their deaths were violent and untimely. Their yacht was hijacked last week by 19 pirates off the coast of Somalia, and also taken captive were Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle. On Tuesday the pirates killed their hostages, despite negotiations for their release, and then engaged in a skirmish with U.S. forces.
I’d assume that Scott and Jean Adams lived out their faith to the end, witnessing through word and deed to their captors. They probably tried to share the Scriptures with the men who ultimately took their lives. And perhaps in their very deaths the Adams spoke loudest. We’ll never know, but it seems likely that this couple was faithful to the end.
There will be second-guessing about the wisdom of sailing through pirate-inhabited waters. Some will say that the Adams should have known better. Others will suggest that their faith shouldn’t have put them in harm’s way. Many will wrestle with deeper matters…things for which we don’t have answers. We’ll never know just why God allowed this kind of fate for people who were devoted to telling others about Him and His Word. There are no easy answers we can offer their family and friends. There are no platitudes to make the pain of their violent deaths lessened.
At times like this I take comfort in the promises of God’s Word. He assures us that He is sovereign, and that we have nothing to fear. “Oh death, where is your sting?” “Perfect love casts out all fear.” “All things work together for good for those who are called according to His purposes.” The Scripture is filled with reminders that this life is temporary, we are aliens in this world, we are destined for life everlasting with our God – all this despite, or even because of, earthly difficulties and struggles.
For those who know Christ there’s hope in an eternity with Him and many rich rewards for what we did in His name. These dear folks have been taken, but gloriously to heaven and their Savior. They fought the good fight. They lived well, and with passion. They didn’t coast into the King’s presence…they ran.
I guess that’s the lesson I want to take away from this couple.
Lord, let me run well today.