Feeling Shipwrecked?

“Holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have shipwrecked their faith.1 Timothy 1:19
About 25 years ago, Dale bought an old fiberglass houseboat in dire need of repair. He spent many weekends working on that boat and when it was finished it was quite nice. However, when in the big waves, it was quite a ride!

While on vacation one spring, we took the houseboat down Lake Meade, Nevada to the Arizona side. We spent one night in a beautiful cove. When we awoke the next morning it was calm, and the water was as smooth as glass. After breakfast, we headed back toward home. At some point the calm water turned instantly to six- foot waves. That houseboat would ride up the waves and crash back down. After a little while of this roller coaster ride, the engine quit. There was no shore. If you know anything about Lake Meade, you know that most of the shoreline is rock. Floating quickly toward the jagged rocks, we would surely crash. We did float toward one little, tiny spot of sand, avoiding the jagged shoreline. Dale quickly went to the engine compartment to try and start it again. He said, “When I start it, hit the throttle and go!” I was petrified! It did start and away we went! I was shaken, but we survived, and so did the boat.

I thought we would crash, but we didn’t. How many times do we think we are going to shipwreck, but don’t? Then we think, I should have checked the weather…I should have known better…I should have paid attention! Maybe we should have but we are human and we don’t always think ahead. Could we have prevented the near crash? If we had taken a different course or picked a day without wind it might have been avoided. But, just because it isn’t windy today, doesn’t mean it won’t be windy tomorrow.

No matter how we may struggle in the wind, there is purpose in it. When sailing a vessel with only a sail to move it, you won’t go anywhere without wind. You could use a paddle but wouldn’t get far in the big waters. And you certainly can’t use yesterday’s wind to sail your ship. You need wind today.

In the 27th Chapter of Acts, Paul was a prisoner at this time and he and several other prisoners were put on a ship that set sail for Italy. They encountered strong head winds and didn't make much progress for several days. Paul tried to warn the ship's officers not to go on, but they would not listen to Paul because he was a prisoner.

Have you been warned of impending danger and didn't listen? It doesn't just affect you but everyone on board, but you drag everyone else around you into the middle of the storm with you. We have a choice. We can a) heed the warning, or b) choose to ride out the storm and take the chance of shipwreck. Paul could not walk away; the choice had been taken away from him, so he had no choice but to ride out the storm.

The Christian life is not always comfortable but you will make it to shore even if you have to ride on a plank. The world has the idea that if sin causes a shipwreck it will be like Gilligan's Island. I'll just go on a 3-hour cruise of sin and if I shipwreck, I'll be with my friends, Gilligan, The Skipper, The Professor, The Howells, Mary Ann, and Ginger. When you shipwreck yourself due to sin, you won't have any friends to help you out. It's not Gilligan's Island! Your friends will build a raft and float away without you. Nobody can rescue you from Sin's Island except Jesus! But, here's the good news, even if you shipwreck yourself, He will still be there with the lifeboat.

God bless you!

Deb McClellan

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