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May We Never Be Without Confidence

Okay but you wouldn't stop to take a vote standing on a ship that's sinking straight down into the depths of the sea. All's i'm saying is: that just doesn't happen. Listen, i know. When you are on a ship wrecked-and-sinking, you do-not-ever think or talk about jumping off. You just jump. Jump straight down into the depths of the sea so you can swim right back up to the surface safe.

Because you'll be stuck below air if you sink still standing on the wrecked-and-ruined ship.

That's why you jump off. Maybe not until just-before all hope-is-lost but you do jump when that moment comes because there's a part of you knowing that the hope-is-found right after the hope-is-lost.

Here's what i've learnt from you & them in five words: every man is for himself.

But are they, really? Do you believe that?

I'm thinking right now that it sorta seems like an idiom-for-an-idiot because I don't think that in any way you & them & certainly-never me could survive if we were all trying to fend for ourselves on a ship wrecked-and-ruined.

I don't think I could lift the anchor over the ledge by myself. Would you be there to help me? I know you & I are strong enough together, and even if you are strong enough on your own, i'm not.

I don't really know if I could steer a boat back into navigation on my own. see, the wind is fierce and more alive than we would be if we stopped gripping onto that wheel together as it spun round and backwards and round agin.

They always say: 'in the unexpected event that a storm comes, here is what to do, where to go, who to find.' Well, the storm is here and i don't know what to do, there's nowhere to go but here, and even if every man is for himself, everyone is still in the same boat struggling against the same sea and the same storm and the same sailors who steal the life-boats, evade the crew, and try escaping on their own.

That's what happened in Acts 27, and keeps on happening inland, in-life, every-day. We plan our destinations, and then a storm comes right out of the unexpected blue and leaves us in the sunless, starless middle of the sea.

In the story, the true-story, a prisoner aboard the boat had warned the crew to remain in Fair-Haven, but they were driven by what they saw and steered the ship away from the harbour because the sea had seemed as fair as the haven had not. The prisoner's advice had been rejected and thrown overboard to replace the anchor hauled back into the boat.

Meanwhile, somewhere off the coast, light was falling at the face of a dark sea scheming. it seized the ship in a days-blurring destruction until nothing was left to be cast overboard-----nothing and no-one but the sailors and solders and their prisoners. All of them, in that moment, so alike, so alone, and scarce-alive.

Then, the prisoner stood, intervening as every man for themselves struggled blindly, thrown this way and that on their hands and knees towards the ropes and ruined-rusting-wood of what had once been a majestic vessel.

Right there, in front of every desperate man, he promised that all would survive if they jumped. If they all jumped together to avoid capsize. If they all jumped together and swam to shore.

We are all prisoners in one-some-way or another----to our plans and our pride.

In Acts 27, that prisoner had taken the initiative to warn fellow captors and captives alike. This enabled him to later intervene and readjust their plan, focusing on the promises of God. Promises made not only to be fulfilled in his life, but also through the lives of those around him.

How often do we forget that fear imprisons wrecks rages against the heart of every man? Fear is the storm that seeks to ruin lives. Mine, yours-----theirs.

And we have a choice in the midst of it all. To stand up and speak of salvation's promise. To grab hands, shout out courage, and jump. Together.

psalm 23: 4

even when the way goes through Death, I am not afraid when you walk beside me.

Isaiah 35: 4

say to those with fearful hearts: be strong. do not fear. your God will come, avenge, & comfort you.

psalm 34: 4

God met me in my anxiety, wrapped his arms about me and i knew, i was free.


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