Providential delays – are the works of Providence! Not mere coincidence, but a superintending God who works all things for Good. Here’s another account from Daniel Whittle.
Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.
A Sea Captain relates to the editor of the Christian, a remarkable incident, whereby in one of his voyages his ship was unaccountably held still, and thereby saved from sailing directly into the midst of a terrible hurricane: — “We sailed from the Kennebec on the first of October, 1876. There had been several severe gales, and some of my friends thought it hardly safe to go, but after considerable prayer I concluded it was right to undertake the voyage. On the 19th of October we were about one hundred and fifty miles west of the Bahamas, and we encountered very disagreeable weather. For five or six days we seemed held by shifting currents, or some unknown power, in about the same place. We would think we had sailed thirty or forty miles, when on taking our observations we would find we were within three or four miles of our position the day before. This circumstance occurring repeatedly proved a trial to my faith, and I said within my heart, ‘Lord, why are we so hindered, and kept in this position?’ Day after day we were held as if by an unseen force, until at length a change took place, and we went on our way. Reaching our port they inquired, ‘Where have you been through the gale?’ ‘What gale?’ we asked. ‘We have seen no gale.’ We then learned that a terrible hurricane had swept through that region, and that all was desolation. We afterwards learned that this hurricane had swept around us, and had almost formed a circle around the place occupied by us during the storm. A hundred miles in one direction all was wreck and ruin, fifty miles in the opposite direction all was desolation; and while that storm was raging in all its fury, we were held in perfect safety, in quiet waters, and in continual anxiety to change our position and pursue our voyage One day of ordinary sailing would have brought us into the track of the storm, and sent us to the bottom of the sea. We were anxious to sail on, but some unseen power held us where we were, and we escaped.”
The Captain was a prayerful man, trusting in his Lord, though his faith was tried, and he thought the Lord was not helping him. Yet the Lord was keeping his promise to him, “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him, and the Lord shall cover him all the day long.”