“The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard.”
–Acts 27:18 NLT
Growing up in the Midwest, I have experienced many storms. While watching them from the safety of your home can be pleasant, a storm takes on new meaning when you are outside in the middle of it. In those circumstances, a severe storm leaves you feeling terrified and vulnerable.
Many of us vainly believe that we will always be safe from the elements, only to be caught off guard by the devastation of their unexpected fury. In the Bible, Paul tried to warn the ship’s crew that a storm was coming, but they took comfort in the warmth of the southern wind and wouldn’t believe him. Shortly after they left the safety of the shore, a storm of epic proportions fell upon the ship and its crew. The storm was so powerful that the only thing they could do was get rid of things that were weighing the ship down and allow themselves to be tossed by the howling winds and large waves.
When life deals you a devastating blow, you must make decisions in order to survive or salvage what is left. Maybe you are in a crisis that seems to never end — is it possible that your storms warrant extreme measures? Are you holding on to things that weigh you down? Do you need to toss anything off the ship in order to lighten the load, or is your boat getting torn to pieces because you want to make it back to shore with the same load that is threatening to sink you?
Paul and his shipmates realized that they held no power in the storm, so they let go and trusted the only one who could command the wind and waves. May you have the courage to trust God, learn what your storms are teaching you, and rid yourself of the unnecessary weights that keep you in the fury longer than necessary.