are you headed for a crash?

Picture this: you’re on a ship. You’re caught in a violent storm. You haven’t seen sunlight in days. You have thrown your cargo overboard. You have given up all hope of being saved.

Then your captain stands up and tells you,

“You should have taken my advice… then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage; because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed… Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” 

Your ship is moving along, still being pummeled by the storm, when suddenly you sense you are approaching land. You take a reading: there’s 120 feet of water below you. You immediately take another: there’s now only 90 feet of water below you.

You are heading for land. Quickly. Your ship is going to crash. You immediately drop four anchors and pray for daylight.

This is the situation in which Paul and his men found themselves in Acts 27: 21-26… in a state of despair with an impending crash on the horizon.

“When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could.

Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders.

Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach.

But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.” (Acts 27:39-41)

The ship crashed. It was destroyed. Yet they survived.

But in order to do so, they had to act in faith – they had to cut the anchors and release any control they had of the ship.

Are you caught in a storm in your life right now? Have you given up hope? Are you praying in desperation for daylight?

God wants to save you from the storm. He wants to save you from a crash. Even if you got to that place of a storm by the decisions you made, by ignoring God’s warnings, he is faithful and he is full of love and he wants to save you.

He will rescue you from the storm and he will bring you to dry land.

But how do we know if we are heading toward dry land? How do we know we are heading toward safety?

In order for one to know a ship is heading toward dry land, one has to take readings of the sea level below. And in order for us to if we are aligned with God’s will, we have to check in and take our own “readings” – by reading Scripture, through prayer, and by seeking wise counsel – to know we are headed in the right direction, to know we are headed toward safety.

In order for us to get to dry land and do so quickly, we have to act quickly and in faith. We have to cut the “anchors” of the destructive “ship” we are on. We have to release the “ties” of the “rudders” – a.k.a. our control of the situation.

We must release our control in order to allow God to bring us to safety.

There are always consequences to the decisions we make. My dad always says, “Life is a series of decisions.” God has laid out before us in the Bible a very clear set of guidelines, a “course map” if you will, to help us make the best decisions to live a life pleasing to him, to prevent us from pain and heartache… to prevent us from “storms.”

Yet, we are sinners, we live in a fallen world, and no matter how aligned we are with the will of God, we are going to mess up, we are going to veer off course, we are going to find ourselves in the midst of storms in this life.

But it’s then and there – in the midst of the storm – that we have the choice, to make one more decision. We can lose hope completely and give up, we can try to get out of it on our own, or we can look to God and allow him to deliver us from the storm and bring us to dry land.

The choice is ours.

He’s there. He’s waiting. He’s full of grace and forgiveness and redemption. He will rescue us from the storm.

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