When the tough challenges overwhelm you, consider them shipwrecks God has already planned in advance–to save you. Lisa explains.
“So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island” (Acts 27:25,26).
At some point after diagnosis, in our cycle of grief, we stop looking for a cure and begin to advocate being “as well as possible”–for as long as possible. It stops being about delaying life until we are cured, but enjoying the moment.
Most days I handle the losses of illness pretty well. I will likely have rheumatoid arthritis all the days of my life. I am okay with that. God has used it astronomically more than I ever could have imagined. I deal. Many days I smile.
But other days I face a new challenge: a fractured rib, a reaction to medication, pain due someone’s error, a dip in finances, changes in plans, hurtful words. And I grow frustrated. It is exhausting to cope well with it all the time, isn’t it?
That is why I like this verse. Like Paul, I am confident that God is in control and all that He has promised will come to pass. And yet. . . first I must run aground on some island. Those shipwrecks really get in the way of our plans, don’t they?
For Paul, running aground on some island meant the loss of a ship and the end of a journey, even prison for 276 men. But it also meant life. The way God orchestrated it–right down to that shipwreck–saved the lives of the men who would have otherwise been killed.
Shipwrecks wreck havoc on our lives, our body, our relationships, our careers, and so much more. But they aren’t surprises to our Lord. They are planned, orchestrated, given purpose, and sometimes even life-saving.
I hope when tough times come I can confidently yell out “SHIPWRECK!” with a sense of humor. It is my way of acknowledging God leaves nothing to chance.
Prayer: God, You are my anchor, my calm in the storms, and ironically, the wrecker of my ship. To You be the glory, however, because You always have a purpose, You always have a plan and nothing will thwart it from coming to pass. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is currently working on a prayer book for those who are chronically ill and balancing motherhood with foot surgery in March. Be encouraged by one of her books today! 100% proceeds go to Rest Ministries. Check out Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
Will you join me in seeing the disruptions, pain, and overwhelming feelings as shipwrecks? Next time something starts going wrong, remember that God promises you it will all work out, but first you are going to run aground for a bit. Together, let’s holler, “SHIPWRECK!” and keep praising God.
In this video Plumb sings “Need You Now (How Many Times)” and I think the lyrics will touch you. She asks God to take away the pain, but he strength to bear it if necessary. A beautiful song with heart. Enjoy. -Lisa