Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shipwrecked and Cared For

Do you remember the story of Paul, traveling to Rome as a prisoner? They are well on their way when a storm blew in and wreaked havoc. The sailors had no control over the direction they were heading since the winds and waves were so strong. They tried to tie the boat together, and to lighten it by throwing cargo overboard. Days went by. And then, they "finally gave up all hope of being saved."

After a long day on my feet, with my plantar fasciitis acting up, I, too, give up all hope of being saved.

In the midst of it, it feels like the pain will last forever and that nothing will ever worth attempting.

I lived one such day last week.

And in the midst of it, with the pain forging on, my family surrounded me with support. They offered advil, and essential oils, and comforting pats and compassionate words.  Eventually (several hours later) the pain did subside, and I was reminded of Paul's shipwreck.

See, when the storm had calmed quite a bit they ship ran aground a ways away from an island, and the centurion decided everyone would swim for shore or float there on planks. All 276 that had been on board made it to the island. And here is where it gets interesting!

When they paddled on shore, freezing and soaking wet, greeted by wind and cold rain, the natives from the island were there waiting for them, welcoming them and building a fire for them to warm themselves and dry off. The storm had not completely passed yet, but they were being cared for in the midst of it. Rather like my family cared for me in the midst of my pain.

So keep a look out, I tell myself, and you're welcome to listen too, for people in the middle of storms who need comfort or compassion that you can offer.


Noël De Vries said...

Today, do we see people who have "given up all hope of being saved?"
What might that look like?
Have you ever given up all hope of being saved, or maybe someone you know?
Is there anything in this story that could help us in the future, when we're tempted to give up all hope of being saved?
Couldn't help myself!

Nicole said...

Thanks for the questions, Noel!
I'm just starting the asking questions portion of the handbook. Once you've trained yourself to ask those kinds of questions, it must be hard to stop-- and that's probably a good thing :)
In the future, when we're tempted to give up all hope of being saved, we can be comforted that God can provide for us in unexpected ways, and that he uses those circumstances for good (in Paul's case, he was able to share with an un-reached group of people about Christ. The text doesn't actually say that Paul shared, but I find it hard to believe that Paul didn't say something when the islanders thought he was a god, or when he was healing them...)