Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 1 Timothy 1:18-19
There is something about shipwrecks that tantalizes the human imagination. Its theme has been used to romanticize and dramatize works of art, film, and literature. One example is the 1997 film Titanic, which grossed over $2.2 billion. But the truth is for the persons shipwrecked; there's nothing pleasant about it. There are often many deaths, and any survivors are left in cold, rough seas for hours or days. If fortunate enough to be rescued by a passing ship, they are dehydrated and sunburnt. If washed ashore, they may be stranded in hostile environments.
The Apostle Paul was no stranger to this misadventure; he suffered this fate not once but three times (2 Corinthians 11:25). So, when he talks about people whose faith has been shipwrecked, he refers not to the romanticized version but the authentic version with all the devastation that follows. We can all appreciate that feeling; there have been times when we have felt the same way, issues with health, loss of a loved one, threats to our financial well-being, current news events, and the list goes on.
The good news is we do not need to face these things alone. Shipwreck is not our only option. In 1990, Rembrandt's painting titled "Christ In The Storm On The Sea of Galilee" was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, inspired by the story in Mark 4:35-41. The painting captures the raging waves, the torrential winds, and the foundering ship in all its dark and dreary fullness. However, that's not the end of the story; although the storm was raging, there was not a shipwreck because Jesus was in the boat, he rebuked the wind and waves, and the calm returned. As followers of Christ, we need to remember that when life's waters grow rough, we do not need to despair because Jesus is in the boat with us, speaking to our anxieties the words,
"Quiet! Be still!"
God of the peace and calm, we give thanks for your compassion for us. At times the seas of life become rough, surrounded by the waves of distress, and we feel our ships will surely founder; we recall we are not alone. You are with us. Bless us today, Lord, and calm our spirits and minds. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.