August 2, 2021

Be Encouraged: God Can bring you in on boards and pieces if he needs to!

“he ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land. (Acts 27:43,44)  

Let’s face it. At times we may have all felt like or described ourselves (or someone else) as a “hot mess” or that our life and circumstances more resembled a train wreck than reflecting God’s plan for us. At those times we might have felt as though we were beyond help or redemption, lacking anything reasonable or of substance to work with, that our life, person, relationships, or circumstances were beyond what even God could work with or save.

Paul writes about the time he was being transported to by ship when they had a shipwreck as they sailed across the Adriatic Sea. At the time it did not appear any 276 people on board would make it to shore alive. But Paul gives God the glory and praise by recounting how God delivered them. Some were able to swim under their own power and others needed to be delivered on boards and pieces of the wreckage.

I love reading this story. It’s such a strong and relatable account, transcending all space and time. Always reminding me that no matter how banged up I feel emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually, God is able to deliver me and all of us, even if it means doing so on emotionally, physical, mental, financial, or spiritual boards and pieces.

In the days immediately following my surgery I didn’t have much to contribute even toward my own care. I couldn’t even turn over in the bed without assistance. The nurses often reminded me, “Use your call button. Save your strength. We’re here to assist you.” During one shift, I was pleasantly surprised, as my assigned nurse was an older woman, around my own age. When she had entered the room as I was trying to make adjustments in the bed without using my call button to get help, her words touched me in a very deep place. She said, don’t be prideful, call for help. Let us assist you. You are in the perfect place surrounded by skilled people who can help. “

Can we imagine God saying something similar to us at times when we are not calling out to him, feeling to broken or beyond help and trying to do things on our own? Not wanting, even God to see our frailness and need for his assistance?  Maybe we have nothing to give, nothing to contribute, no strength of our own, no plan of moving through or forward, broken up, broken down, barely making it or pulling through, feeling helpless, useless, sliding toward hopeless, completely drained; but our great, loving, and intuitive God assures us, “It’s okay. Use your call button (prayer). I can get you to where I need you to be, I can deliver you to that good shore, the shore I have prepared for you, and on boards and pieces if I need to.”

It does not matter how we got to the place we are at or why need a special and individualized deliverance from God: grief or sorrow, sickness, failures, mistakes, disappointments, relationship issues; whatever trials or challenges have broken us down, God will deliver us to the shores of his love, healing, strength, renewal, and wellbeing. Our brokenness or wreckage will never be beyond God’s ability to take us where he has already prepared a place for us to regroup, heal, and then thrive.

Dear God, I love and adore you. You are holy and perfectly wonderful in all your ways. I confess there have been times I have attempted to deliver myself and even though I was on boards and pieces emotionally, mentally, physically, even spiritually I still felt I was sufficient to do it. I thank and praise you for reaching down your hand of deliverance into my life, not counting my own efforts against me or withholding your grace and love but caring for me as only you can. Because you sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and open the door of eternal relationship to me through his blood I am sealed in this wonderful promise of deliverance and can affirm it over my life, heart and mind. Amen

Affirming Activity:

How will you affirm this powerful promise over your life?

How will you incorporate this promise into your plan of self-care?   

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