Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (1545–98)is one of the most famous military heroes in Korean history. He was born into a poor family but through hard work and effort rose to become a brilliant strategist and Admiral. At the age of 28 he took the government examination to become an officer but during the practical portion fell off his horse and failed. Shamed by his failure he worked harder and four years later he retook the exam and passed. Eventually his persistence and wisdom convinced his superiors to give him command of a naval station in Cholla province.
Anticipating a Japanese invasion in 1592 under the direction of their great conqueror, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Yi Sun-Shin designed and constructed the Turtle Ship, an ironclad warship shaped like its namesake. This ironclad vessel preceded the Monitor of Civil War fame by almost 300 years! The first Turtle Ship was about 65 feet long, 15 feet high and built with portholes through which cannons fired. Thick iron plates with iron spikes were mounted on the deck to keep the enemy from boarding. At the bow was a fearsome dragon’s head and by burning a combination of sulfur and saltpeter clouds of smoke came through the head creating a protective smoke screen. Admiral Sun-Shin used his invention to easily sink 26 of the 30 ship Japanese invading fleet. Five years later the Japanese attacked again only to lose 300 more vessels. Unfortunately a stray bullet hit the Admiral and killed him.
Ecclesiastes 9:17—The calm words of the wise are heeded more than the shouts of a ruler over fools.
An unflappable person is one who is “not easily upset or confused, especially in a crisis.” Despite the overwhelming forces arrayed against him, Admiral Sun-Shin remained persistently calm. His courage inspired an entire nation to fight for its freedom.
It is not hard to lose our composure when things don’t go our way or circumstances seem hopeless. It is easy to get upset and to say things or act in ways we later regret. King David prayed “Vindicate me, LORD, because I have lived with integrity and have trusted intheLORDwithout wavering” (Psalm 26:1). The key to calmness is trust in the Lord. When we place our faith in Him, there is no threat or danger too great to overcome. If you want to be unflappable you must be anchored to the Rock. If you want unwavering courage in the den of adversity look to Jesus, the unflappable Savior. He braved the screaming mob, wore the crown of thorns, felt the spikes of hate and instead of falling apart prayed, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
It is a great thing to see physical courage, and greater still to see moral courage, but the greatest to see of all is spiritual courage, to see a man who will stand true to the integrity of Jesus Christ no matter what he is going through.—Oswald Chamber in The Place of Help
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)