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Shipwrecked no more

Spring is here and thoughts of summer already upon us. My neighbor has his boat out, anticipating great times with his family at the lake. It reminds me of a time when my sister and her husband invited us for a lake outing. We were sailing in his craft when we came upon two guys in shallow water. Yelling and screaming, they frantically kept diving into the water. Trying to help, we discovered these guys were desperately trying to save their three best friends whi had fallen overboard. Only it turned out the friends’ names were Jim Beam,  Johnny Walker, and Bud Weiser.

Unable to carry on a  coherent conversation with the guys and assured they we’re as safe as they wanted to be, we went on our way. But it caused me to remember, I’ve been there before – living for the fun of it with no thought of who I was becoming or who I was meant to be.

Suppose you came across me in such a state and, at the risk of your own life, you rescued me from my shipwreck situation, saving me and resuscitating me to a new life. I would be forever indebted to you, wouldn’t I? Imagine inviting me to your home and caring for me until I was recovered. Over time we come to enjoy each other’s company more and more, sharing both the celebrations and the real challenges of life together.  Picture a scene where, instead of being the rescuer and the shipwrecked, we become full partners in the business of life. And we marvel at how a dramatic rescue effort turned into a fulfilling lifelong friendship.

An amazing piece of fiction or a true story?

Isn’t this actually the story of our lives, constantly buffeted by the waves of life, with no rudder to guide us and seemingly at mercy of the sea? Unable to save ourselves by our own efforts, we find ourselves tossed against the rocks and shipwrecked, without hope. But then a rescuer came to save us. Only instead of risking his life, he actually gave his life so we might be saved. Saved not only from being eternally shipwrecked but saved also from a life of meaningless and fruitless effort, tossed this way and that. Not only saved, yet also redeemed and restored… renewed into a vibrant and fulfilling relationship with our rescuer, who as it turned out, overcame death itself!

How do you picture yourself in this story?

Actually, there are four of us in this story. One of us feels like it’s smooth sailing and everything is under control – at least until the threatening storms come our way.  Another sees themself in the midst of a stormy life, desperately clinging to the sides of the boat, trying to weigh anchor and find a secure hold, hoping beyond hope to be rescued. Yet another has already experienced the throes of a disastrous shipwreck. Whether it be relationships, finances, business and life goals, or our own deteriorating bodies, we find ourselves tossed against the rocks. And finally, one of us finds themselves rescued from the disaster that came upon us. In fact, impossible as it seems, here we are surrounded by the broken pieces of our lives, but not alone. It would have been enough had we been rescued from the stormy seas, but our rescuer came to take us from this hopeless place to a place of restoration and forever celebration. And as we wait, we find ourself miraculously changing from a miserably lost, shipwrecked fool, to become known as friend and beloved son or daughter. Not only that, but our redeemer regards us as so valued he gives us his inheritance, even the right to become his child.

How do you see yourself in this story of life? Are you the captain of your own destiny, the lost soul in stormy waters, the hopelessly shipwrecked, or the rescued, restored and redeemed? Jesus is the one who longs to rescue us all; and not only rescue us, but bring us into a place where the broken pieces of our lives become fully restored. Reach out for his lifeline and inherit a whole new life!

Shipwrecked no more!