Protected by the Son of God

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(Shackleton’s expedition, with the ship frozen into the ice)

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.   Daniel 3:24-25

I can never read those verses in Daniel without thinking of this incident which occurred during Sir Ernest Shackleton’s unsuccessful attempt, in 1914, to cross Antarctica.

Shackleton and two others are struggling across the terrible terrain of South Georgia Island, in a desperate bid to save their friends stranded on Elephant Island. The following are Shackleton’s own words from his book, South.

“When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us, not only across those snow-fields, but across the storm-white sea that separated Elephant Island from our landing-place on South Georgia. I know that during that long and racking march of 36 hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four, not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but afterwards Worsley said to me, ‘Boss, I had a curious feeling on the march that there was another person with us.’ Crean confessed to the same idea. One feels ‘the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech’ in trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.”

There is nothing that needs to be added to this.