There it was, beached. Helplessly lying on its side, being beaten by the pounding waves. A sailboat, shipwrecked. It was odd to see, as a boat wrecked on the beach is not everyday fare. What was even more odd was that it seemed to have been there for some time. Left by it's owner. Discarded, torn, sails tattered and deck battered by the incoming tide. The bottom was green with thousands of barnacles exposed. And the rudder was out of water, broken, and of no good to anyone anymore.
I imagined that when it was cast out to sea it's first time, the white boat trimmed with green was proud. About 20 feet in length with a tall towering mast and sails, the owner was probably all smiles. It probably had some cool boat name like Ashore Bet, or Sea Nile. It was a luxury, made for enjoyment and time away. That was…until the storm came.
One of the locals said that there was a storm some two months prior that had blown the boat to shore and had broken its rudder and riggings and had permanently damaged the boat. She said the boat was simply left there, too expensive to fix, too expensive to tow, and just too much of a burden. Like others in the past, it will be destined to sit there until it is stripped clean by vandals and eventually be removed by the city.
I began to think as one does when they walk up on a disaster. First, I took some pictures; then I studied the boat, looking at it and why it couldn't be saved. That's when I saw the rudder. I understand all the logistics of the boat no longer being seaworthy, but then I started pondering how it got there in the first place. Have you ever wondered how you got to where you are in the first place? For me it was the rudder. It's always the rudder. The rudder steers the boat from harms way towards the right side of the wind. It takes you where you wish to go and I'm sure that when that boat was in its prime the rudder took it to some nice ports around the gulf. However, when the rudder became broken, the wind was now in charge and the boat and all of its passengers were driven where the wind wished.
Life is like that. When our rudder breaks through bad decisions, or money woes, or illness, we are the ones being driven and tossed to and fro and finally beached. We feel lifeless as we lay there seemingly paralyzed on the shore, unable to get back into the sea. Who are we kidding, because even if we could, we would wind up right back on the sand again, since like that boat, our rudder is broken.
When we try to live life by our steering of our own direction, we often wind up broken. What hope I can offer is that the Lord knew that boat was going to crash and be sitting on the shore. He knew that you would crash too. He knew the boat would be abandoned and left for vandals and thieves. He knew you would feel that way too at times. He knew that people would walk around your shipwrecked life and take mental pictures and gawk at your failures and weaknesses, trying to figure out what you did wrong to deserve the pain you are in. Lastly, He also knew that you would do anything to be made whole again.
He sent Jesus for us all, the broken and shipwrecked. To give us salvation through His sacrifice and His blood. He sent Him to fix the broken rudders of our lives and give us new direction. To put wind back in our sails and restore us back to life. He has the capability to do what you and I cannot. Take it from us. We have been on that shore, gasping for air, accused, laughed at, scorned, and abandoned. He never left us, and He will never leave you. The restoring may not come when we want it, and it may never make sense, but He can take our shipwrecked souls and set them asail again. All we have to do is trust and ask Him.
Shipwrecked? God will use our broken lives if we let Him. Meet Him in your weakness and let Him bring your ship in, restore it and set it back to sail. Only he can take a broken life and make it beautiful. You can try and try but until you let Him in, there your ship will sit, washed up on the shores of life. Just say the word. He is waiting there at the place of your launching point.
A song that is one of our favorites by Misty Edwards and perfect to listen to now: Turn it All Around
"If you could see what I see when I look at you, says the Lord, your hearts would rejoice. He's gonna turn it all around, just in time. He's gonna make everything beautiful just in time. Just fight the good fight…"