The Shipwreck

There was a prime time program several years ago called Survivor and I didnít give much attention to it but now understand the show was never rescued from the ratings. Many years have passed since experiencing a reality show disaster of my own and Iím now in a sense reliving the story of Robinson Crusoe after the shipwreck. Iím reminded often of Paul the apostle, who on several occasions booked passage on this titanic* topic. Among his many adventures were three such catastrophes specifically mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11. Paul writes; I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea.í  Notice how many references there are to the sea. One of the events is recorded in Acts were Paul told a seasoned crew not to set sail but they went anyway. Everyone was saved in the end but the ship did not fair so well. A comparison could be made relating to our own salvation after such a wood, hay & stubble debris field event. Allow me to elaborate on some similarities as we look at our own potentially hazardous voyage into eternity. Letís begin with poor planning and setting sail in the wrong season. We pray about an issue for ten minutes, get in the boat and shortly find ourselves in strange waters that we should have avoided. When things get ugly we ask the Lord why He let us get into such deep water and we begin to doubt Him. We left port on the USS Assumption without a map, a compass or any navigational skills and as for getting off course, well, we were never on course to begin with. When we are young in the faith, the Lord covers for our stupidity to a certain degree but time and chance happens to us all. Eccl 9:11. Then there is the problem of being overloaded. Instead of basic provisions we are weighed down with too much debt and a full schedule, leaving no room for an extra oar, a vision or living water. Including the lack of forethought and neglecting to keep up with the weather conditions, there is always the sabotage factor. Our adversary is much like an unseen reef or an intentional destructive torpedo. Contrary to popular Christian thinking, we are not all in the same boat. Some have charted a faithful course and spent a lifetime in a life vest weighing the dangers and consequences of the trip and often have the sense to stay on dry land. In most cases itís not advisable to build a life any where near the shore. The view may be awesome but so are the hurricanes. Matt 7:76.


I would now turn your attention to the survivors. In the event that you find your life ruined in a similar scenario, try not to wash ashore with Hymenaeus and Alexander. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1 Tim 1:19-20. Here are some suggestions for staying alive when everything looks hopeless. First realize that you will have opportunity now to develop a prayer life and spend some alone time with the Lord. Reclaim your recollection of scripture and any salvageable items like an old hymn or that first love experience with God and build a suitable shelter. Any cargo that washed ashore could be used for building a new life and a useful future, although some limitations will have to be realized. Remember, the novel that Daniel Defoe wrote was based on a real person who lived successfully on an island until he was rescued. The best part of that story is that Mr. Crusoe had a bible and that is the saving grace in this analogy. The Bible is the life jacket, the salvage operation and the subsistence. In closing I suggest that you donít drill a hole in the bottom of your boat to drain the excess water like I did. You can sink your own ship in a self inflicted disaster and still arrive on the shores of eternal glory but you may not be put in command of another crew or even a brand new dinghy in this lifetime. Learn how to accept your remaining days along with your new restrictions with grace and be faithful with what has been salvaged. The days ahead should not be imagined as a tropical paradise that accommodates the modern Christian tour package and resort mentality. The forecast calls for gale force winds and high waves but we have a Perfect Savior for a perfect storm. Stay the course but remain anchored in Christ Jesus.

T. LaVigne                                                                                                   * pun included for obvious reasons