I was in such a mood last weekend, and unfortunately, it seems to have followed me into the week. I know I have been tired and fatigued, and I hope that's all that's going on, but for whatever reason, I've had a case of the blues. The bad news is that having the blues is no fun, and I've found that I don't even want to hang around with me when I'm like this. The good news is that we often see things in our times of suffering that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. Such was the case this weekend as I listened to a lesson about Paul's shipwreck.
But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land. - Acts 27:43-44
Those verses held a whole new meaning for me Sunday morning because of the state of my mind and emotions. I was feeling down. I was feeling overwhelmed. But most of all, I was feeling tired. Tired of everything. Tired of trying and failing. Tired of struggling to make ends meet. Tired of trying to please everyone. Tired of being tired! And in that mindset, I found a new source of comfort in the most unlikely of Bible passages.
As the ship was going down, the centurion commanded the prisoners that could swim to jump overboard and make for the shore. The rest were to find whatever they could get ahold of to stay afloat, eventually making their way to land. And in the end, just as God promised, they all escaped. Not one life was lost.
To apply this Scripture to my current state, I often see myself as a prisoner, bound by time, health restraints, financial chains and other bonds. I've been commanded to make it to shore, and I've even been promised that I will make it alive. But the truth is that, even though I know how to swim, I just don't have the strength for it right now. I'm too tired, too weary. But through this beautiful passage, I'm reminded that that's okay. I don't have to swim. All I have to do is hold on to something that is keeping itself above water. Something, perhaps, like God's promises or maybe His grace. Even though I may feel like one of those broken pieces of the ship, bobbing up and down on the restless tide, I can find peace in the knowledge that even those pieces made it safely to shore.
I'm not home yet, but I know I'm going to make it some day. And no storm or shipwreck can thwart God's promise about that. I may not be able to swim right now, but I can hold on and take comfort in the fact that He's also holding onto me. . . and He will never let go!
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. - I Corinthians 10:13