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Shipwrecked

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 (NIV)


Growing up, I looked forward to Gilligan's Island. If you have watched the show, you know the opening song.


Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,

A tale of a fateful trip

That started from this tropic port

Aboard this tiny ship.


After listing who is on the three-hour tour, it continues.


The weather started getting rough,

The tiny ship was tossed,

If not for the courage of the fearless crew

The Minnow would be lost, the Minnow would be lost.


While the sitcom shines a positive light on being stranded on a "tropical island nest," in reality, we understand that to be shipwrecked is not funny nor an escape from the stresses of reality; it's devastating. 


Today's verse comes from a letter written by Paul to his spiritual son Timothy*. Paul writes with authority, being no stranger to shipwrecks, having survived the experience four times (three in 2 Corinthians 11:25 and the detailed account in Acts 27:14-44). 


If you have ever experienced a crisis of faith–and you likely have–a time when you "just didn't feel God's presence," you know what it's like to be shipwrecked. You have experienced the bone-jarring, gut-wrenching sickness of being tossed on the seas and thrown against the rocks. Over my life, I've been there more than once, and until my life has passed, I expect I'll be there again.


In trying to survive the moment, riding out the battling seas, it's easy to forget that Christ is in the boat with us. As Christ was physically with the disciples in Mark 38-41, he is with us today in the Holy Spirit, desiring to calm our seas.


The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"


I wish I could promise you calm seas. I wish I could promise that your faith will never be shaken and you'll never feel shipwrecked. I can't, but what I can promise is that God cares. He doesn't want us to end up on the rocks but to cling to him.


How do we pray in these situations? Again, I don't have the answer; I'm still figuring this out too. But maybe begin by praying that our faith be increased. God, help me to believe in your promise that you will never leave or forsake me (Deu 31:8).


Dear God, I pray that you give me the strength to endure the storm and the courage to keep my faith in you. Help me remember that you are always with me, even in the darkest times. I pray that you guide me through this challenging time and help me find my way back to you. Please give me the wisdom to make the right decisions and the patience to wait for your timing. I trust in your love and grace and know you will never leave or forsake me. Thank you for your mercy and your unfailing love. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


*For Bible geeks, yes, I know it has been contested that Paul wrote this letter, but I side with the early writers that he is the author.



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