Wednesday, July 3, 2013

but what about my SHIP?!?!?

inspired by my Lord Jesus, after hearing Eric Ludy give "The Costly Gospel"

I am merchant ship. Minding my own business. I take my cargo from one port to the next. Not important, ordinary.

Then one day, there’s a Passenger on board. I don’t exactly remember granting permission for Him to join us – but there He is. And all of a sudden, just a normal trip around the coast becomes the adventure of a lifetime.

Because, lo and behold, He is actually the Creator of my ship – and He created me to take HIM from one port to another. Okay. I guess that’s fine.

Then a storm hit.

I knew we were going down. Then He came to my cabin.

“We need to lighten the load.”
“Great idea! …….. wait….what did you have in mind?”
He turned and looked at my cabin. “We could start with your swim trophies.”
“Pardon?”
“And your show posters. And your piano – that weighs a ton….literally.”
I cough and splutter – why? But I know He is right. Overboard they go.

I thought that would be enough. Then He took me aside and said, “I promise you that you will come out of this adventure alive – but I cannot promise the same for your ship.”
This adventure is already more than I bargained for – but my ship?! I’m not enthusiastic about this idea. But I trust Him. He has guaranteed my safe passage. Nothing can take me before He says so. The fear vanishes.

But that’s not all. The storm still raged on, and I began to allow doubt to creep in. When I thought His back was turned, I snuck to the side of the ship and began to lower my lifeboat.

Such a pretty, safe little lifeboat. It’s name, “Education and Talent” painted in pretty letters on the side seemed to beckon me with it’s promise of success and a comfortable life. But right as I am about to step in – I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Oh, little one. Do you not know that unless you abide on the ship with me, you cannot be saved? I WILL do as I promised. Trust in Me. Abide in Me.”

With tears in my eyes, and a burning ache and wrench in my soul, I turned my back on the lifeboat, and fixed my eyes on Him. Never letting my eyes leave His face, I cast off the life boat and hear it splash into the sea behind me. Then I cry. But as I sobbed, He held me. I knew in my inward parts, my heart of hearts, that I had found my Beloved, and I held on to Him and would not let go.

I heard Him whisper in my ear, “May I have your cargo?”
I did not understand. “But Lord, without it I will no longer be a merchant ship! I will have no purpose.”
“I want you to be my ship. I want your only purpose to be MY purpose. Are you willing?”
Redefined. My whole life redefined. But I am His, I know that, and He is mine – so out goes the cargo. My whole ship has been taken over by this Passenger.

Or so I think.

My Passenger-turned-Beloved has one more request.

The hardest one yet.

“May I have your ship?”
“My ship? What do you want to do with it?”
“Ram it on the rocks of an island.”
* gulp *

The final test.

He promised I would come to the end of this insane adventure alive. He has sustained me on His love, promises, and grace until now. I have already given Him everything else. It is reasonable and logical that this would be next. But yet, even though I have learned to trust Him – the long buried fear returns. NO ONE said ANYTHING about losing my ship when I first took the Passenger on board.

But He wants it.

I know and believe that what I am called to do with this ship WILL be accomplished before it is wrecked, so I say yes.

With my heart pounding and hands shaking, I say “yes.”

And when those whispered words reached His ears, He smiled. Then I saw the love and grace in His eyes, and my fears fled. I knew He would be with me.

Moments later, the ship shook with a terrible blow and I fell to the deck. I felt His arms catch me – and even though what followed should’ve terrified me because there WAS real pain, there was intense affliction – instead there was only peace. He swam with me through the raging sea, and every time I went under with a blow from the debris of my battered ship, He lifted me again.

And as my ship lay broken and destroyed as a gnarled, twisted wreck behind me, I felt joy.

When we reached the shore – the sun was shining, and we laughed as we ran along the sand towards the bright shining Castle on the hill ahead.

It was the hardest journey I had ever taken – and cost me everything. But yet, I gained Everything.

I gained Him.

His words still echo in my ears.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
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Remember my post "one candle"? The work the LORD began in my heart that night reached an important climax yesterday morning. I surrendered my ship. Not the cabin, not the cargo, but the ship. My…intense dislike of pain may never go away - but I know He will walk with me every step of the way, and will NEVER leave me in my time of trouble. He loved me enough to die for me, why would I cringe from the thought of dying for Him.

The question is:

Why NOT die for Christ?

2 comments:

  1. Wow, beautiful, deep and moving

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  2. Dear Liza,

    Thank you for sharing! It is encouraging and challenging hearing how God is working in your life. He has been asking me too lately, "will you give me your ship?" It is SO comforting to know that He is in control and His love is far beyond our comprehension. Reading this is helping me in what has been a hard month of letting go and trusting Him.
    I really missed seeing you at HEAV!
    Love,
    Jessica

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