Friday, October 11, 2019

Holding On to the Plank

The Fall season is our second severe weather season in Mississippi. (The first severe weather season is Spring) While we NEED the rain, the storms that bring the rain are rarely welcome.

My mind went back to a famous storm in the Bible, but I looked at it from a different perspective: a perspective I can relate to.

Acts 27 tells the story of Paul and 275 other prisoners on a stable ship in a storm on the Adriatic Sea. On the 14th night, the storm was so fierce, utterly destructive, the once strong ship was coming apart at the seams.


The Bible says the storm was so bad coupled with their fear, they “prayed for daylight.” (verse 29) The men tied ropes together trying to hold the ship together because it was falling to pieces. By morning they saw land ahead, but ran aground into a sandbar which pulled apart whatever was left of the ship. It must've been dire, because the scriptures say they grabbed planks that were initially attached to the formerly strong ship to help them swim to shallow water.

What Paul doesn't realize is God was using the ship that was falling apart to get him to his destiny. But when you're in the middle of a storm, it's hard to understand. The one thing Paul was counting on, riding on, protected by...his security...fell apart. Demolished. 

What do you do when what God gave you falls apart? Do you give up hope? Do you throw up your hands? Do you scrabble to try and save it? Do you walk away and mourn the loss?

In Isaiah 41:10, God made a promise: "Fear not; for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

God didn’t promise the ship that He was going to be with the boat. He said He is going to be with you. 

In the above scripture, God promised to get you there, but He didn’t say how. God promised to get you through, but He didn’t say thru whom. If we're not careful, we’ll put all of our energy into trying to salvage the battered boat not understanding success is not defined by preserving the boat. The boat is temporary. We can get so caught up into preserving something God only gave us for a season. 

Every blessing isn’t meant to last the journey.

God brings some people into your life to get you from point A to point B. And if you’re not careful, you’ll get to point B and not get to point C because you’ll stop and try to preserve what you had before, not understanding God has something else that will carry you the rest of the way. Just because the ship comes apart doesn’t mean you have to.

Can you imagine being on the boat bound and tied, stressed and weary? Perhaps you're there now. The one thing you were counting on to get you to the other side, the job you thought you'd retire with to get you to the other side, the friends you thought would be life long or the house you thought you’d have for the rest of your life would to get you to the other side. 

But the storm got it. 

If you’ve ever lost some relationships in the storm or in the devastation of your ship, it can make you feel like a failure. Rest assured, the relationships were a temporary blessing. If it was meant to stay, it couldn’t leave.

The destruction of the boat could be an announcement that you have arrived at your next destination.

Barbie will be the guest speaker at Friendship Baptist Church in Brookhaven, MS this Sunday. She'll be speaking at the ladies tea and bringing the message that evening for the church's revival service.

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