Shipless and Alive

I have a new motto. It goes like this: “Erika, there will be no loss of life. Just your ship.”

And y’all are thinking, you have a ship? Whaaaaat? Yup, I have a ship. And so do you.

Let me explain.

In Acts 27 Paul has just set sail for Rome. However, not long after, the crew came against some intense storms. So intense Paul said, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives” [Acts 27:10]. Paul advised them to stop. But they had their own opinions. They put their trust in their own understandings. And so they continued forward.

Unfortunately, the storms became worse. And they had to begin throwing the cargo over. Then the ship’s tackle [Acts 27:18-19]. And still it worsened. For fourteen days the crew endured extreme panic and anxiety. They didn’t eat and I imagine they didn’t do much sleeping. The conditions became so bad these men knew and accepted that they were going to die [Acts 27:20].

It’s over. But wait.

Paul said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.”

Woah. Did anyone else hear that? The whisper of the Holy Spirit?

Let me help you hear it too.

How many times have you found yourself in sheer dread. You accepted you were going to die. This is the end. Your broken heart. Your anxiety. Your depression. Your job. Your kids. Life. It all wins. And you? Defeated. Slumping back as your ship slowly (or quickly) begins to take on water and sink.

But Paul tells us to take heart. What does that even mean? After all, it feels like the only heart you’re taking is a heart attack.

Take heart: to have more courage or confidence; cheer up. ~ Source: Collins Dictionary

HA! “I told you so…should of listened to me…but cheer up.” Paul really knows how to comfort doesn’t he?

But that’s exactly what I heard God tell me during the worst dread and panic I’ve ever felt in my life. He said, “Calm down. You aren’t going to die. You’re just going to lose your ship.”

I keep alluding to this ship thing. Maybe I should tell you all what the ship represents. Well. What was the ship to Paul’s crew?

  • Protection/Safety
  • Comfort
  • Navigation
  • Confidence

What else?

Those men depended on that ship for a lot. I’m sure hearing you won’t lose your life but you’ll lose your ship was a bit contradicting to them. After all, how do you survive without the above?

My ship was confidence. Comfort. A sense of safety. My ship was myself. And during the worst moment of my life God said it would be destroyed. But I wouldn’t die. Contradicting, right? Or maybe not.

During those times of panic and terror, God’s grace was saving me; especially when the feelings were from my disobedience in the first place.

Those men lost their ship. But they survived. So they had to find a new way to navigate. To survive.

My life has been shipwrecked. But I’m alive by God’s grace.

He is my new peace. My new comfort. My new protection. My new confidence.

There is no loss of life here. I’m simply shipless. Shipless and alive.

And I thank God for allowing the storm to shatter me. For removing me from the control center I never belonged in.

What’s your ship? Are you prepared to lose it that He may be your new everything? I promise it may seem tragic through your eyes. But through His eyes, it’s only the beginning of freedom.

Father, thank You for saving me. Thank You for wrecking my ship that I may look to You for my survival. For so long I put my trust and confidence in things around me. Even when I found You I tried to keep You boxed up. God, it took a storm, a massive upset to abandon confidence in myself. But thank You for the storm that dropped me in Your hands. Abba, I put my trust in You. I give You my life. 

With abandonment,

From Her Fortress ❤

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About E.Doty

Every day and every story holds a lesson.