"And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship" Acts 27.19
Paul really had his troubles. He is being taken to Rome for trial and execution. And what happens? A storm comes up at sea and it is so bad that they have to take down the sails and throw everything overboard just to keep afloat.
But there is a great lesson in this story for us. The lesson is simple, when you're in the storm, you'd better throw overboard everything which might sink your ship.
Sometimes we are facing trials in our lives. These trials have the potential for "sinking our ships." Well, instead of moaning about the strength of the winds or the height of the waves. The stormy weather might
be a good time to do some house cleaning. What is there in our lives that we really don't need? What are the things which could take us to the bottom?
Some of us are like the man whose pockets were filled with gold coins. He fell overboard and drowned because he wouldn't remove his coat and let the coins go to the bottom of the sea. We want to hang onto our most precious sins even when we are being pulled down to the bottom of the sea. I don't want to give up my lies, my greed, my pride, my lust, my unethical business practices, my abuse of drugs or alcohol. Oh, I'm swimming hard. My hands and feet are pulling and kicking powerful strokes, but there's just too much weight.
I need to strip myself of "every weight and sin which doeth so easily besets us." Of what use are my lies in the kingdom? How will I use the money that I am hording in heaven. My business will eventually be consumed by fire. So, seeing that all this is temporary and not eternal, why not give it up. And when I lighten the ship, I will be much better able to ride out the storms.
Like the song says, "It's no great price to give what I cannot keep, to gain what I cannot lose."
Lord, strip me today of those sins which I cling to so that I may not go under when I have sailed so far already. Ame