What do you do when the boat goes down?
I was reading Chapter 2 in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and found that Ishmael speaks of a tempest called Euroclydon and even references a great storm in the bible where the boat carrying prisoners, notably the Apostle Paul, goes down in the storm.
Now, Canadians normally spend about half of our storm-time in shock that something bad is actually happening to us. We can’t seem to understand that most of the world’s population is shocked when good things happen. We’re far from resilient though, and need to get a grip on what to do in the storm.
There’s all the difference in the world whether you’re in the middle of your own storm or whether you’re outside watching someone else in one. All the great solutions are stripped away when the realization that your boat is actually going down strikes your heart.
Here’s the kicker: the storm I’d like to discuss today is when your past sins catch up with you, when the unthinkable happens and you sail into what you know deep inside you caused yourself.
Friends look in from the outside and feel great pity for you, but they wouldn’t if they knew what you knew… it’s your fault, it’s what you really deserve.
It’s easy to look out your window at the neighbour’s difficulty and check off the “I could see that coming” box so you don’t have to actually engage in their pain or help them in any real way, but when your own marriage is on the rocks and you fully deserve it,
how do you even pray?
If you follow Christ you might tend to think that, though once you deserved wrath for your sins, now you are entitled to forever escaping consequence? A common North American misconception.
You were pulled from burning wreckage, it’s true, but your old life was consumed in the fire.
What happens now when the unthinkable happens and the boat that got you here is going under? Your habits, your thinking patterns, your pride?
Your life is more important than the boat, let it go.
Life goes on through disappointment and pain. Our expectations of bliss are so far from reality that it dooms most of us to live with no feeling or joy, and mostly because we have never really faced up to the pain in the first place.
I would leave you with two strong suggestions:
Make peace with your God and make peace with your people.
Repent or you will lose everything. The same repentance for the one reading this who is far from God and the one who thought they were much nearer until the storm of the past caught them.
This is a specific word for someone reading this: you must confess your sin NOW, or you will not just lose the boat (your relationship, the house, the business, your son, your husband, whatever it is), you could lose your life itself. I don’t mean your physical life, I mean your spiritual one. The day of reckoning comes for us all but on that day,
will you be able to risk it all and swim for shore?
One last thing, sin that is confessed is often forgiven (always by God and often by your people), but if you wait until you are caught judgement must come.
I would recommend the sermon for full effect and the passage in Acts 27….
Please don’t miss your Malta, you’ve only got one shot at coming clean in this sort of storm….