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Jump-Start Your Day

Wednesday, December 5th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

SURVIVORS

"...some on boards, some on broken pieces of the ship...they escaped all safe to land" (Acts 27:44)

 

There are three ways storms were conquered in the New Testament. Sometimes we walk on the storm. Jesus came to the disciples in the fourth watch of the night "walking on the sea". Sometimes we speak to the storm. In the next case He woke from sleep, stood to the bow of the boat and cried, "Peace, be still!" then the choppy waters laid down like Rover at the Master's feet. But there's a third way to victory, this time the survivor is Paul, and he conquered the way most of us have to conquer, he simply rode the storm out. It was a long battle between man and weather. For fourteen days the crew had seen neither sun nor stars. Luke conceded that "all hope that we should be saved was...taken away" (vs 20). The shipmaster gave the order to abandon ship and if possible swim for shore. 275 Roman prisoners, the crew, a brave apostle and his attendant grabbed for whatever they could clutch, broken boards, spars and floating mastheads then hung on for life. In the morning all were accounted for...all had survived.

 

Most reading this today fit that category. You are survivors. You had little to hang on to, just a broken board, but you grabbed hold and someway, somehow, made it through. Storms come with lots of names, Hurricane Hugo, Andrew, Gilbert, etc. This week the Gulf is being blistered by a category five named Dean. Cancun's beaches will be beat to smithereens. Foundations will be tested, but the greater news stories will be the testimonies of survivors. See, it is your test that births your testimony. You survived divorce, survived the chemo treatments, survived losing that arm in Viet Nam, or whatever. The joy of heaven will not be stories of men like Elijah who flew to heaven in a chariot of fire, rather people like you who floated to shore on a tabletop from the ship's mess hall. I'm sure the fear was incredible during the float trip. Not everyone escapes the undercurrent. If we are still breathing, we are among the lucky ones and owe our everything to the Lord.

 

But you've learned some lessons through the drenching rain. First, you weren't the only one in danger of drowning. Paul had lots of comrades in suffering. Pain is the common denominator in the human lot. The angry sea makes no exceptions to that rule. Also, you learned that by yielding it was easier to float. The victim that thrashes at the water risks the lifeguard's life as well as his own. The saltwater has a buoyancy. Those who learn to relax, who learn to cast all their cares on the Lord, find that they can survive for hours where others sink in minutes. Another thing, the capsized ship has taught you to always be ready for the Big inevitability. It can happen so quickly. Hurricane winds can pop out of nowhere and there you are totally helpless. Paul didn't have to muster a prayer-life at that point because he already had one. Facing disaster is not as ominous to a person who knows God because he knows that his life is in good hands. Finally, survival has given you a keen appreciation for the things that matter. "Land ahead!" That is all that counted for the soaked prisoners. You find that what brand of car you own or whether your house is as big as the Joneses isn't such a big deal anymore. You have life and there is no greater reward or possession then that. One by one they were pulled from the water and with each new footprint on the Isle of Melita's sand (Acts 28:1), another cry of relief sounded, "I've made it! I'm a survivor". Welcome to the club...we're the kind of people that populates heaven.


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