Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. We took such a violent battering fron the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. (Acts 17b-20)
Steven P. Wickstrom, a retired Coast Guardsman, said the ship would’ve risen and fallen while the wind knocked it from side to side.
The men were wet, cold, and seasick, unable to eat or sleep. On the third day of darkness, they lost hope. They slowed the ship’s motion by throwing the sea anchor into the ocean. When the boat took in water, they lightened it by throwing cargo overboard so it wouldn’t sink. They threw the tackle, all the equipment to operate the sails, into the ocean.
While reading this passage, I imagined Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, spices in hand, at Jesus’ tomb. I can imagine how depressed they were when the rock blocking Jesus’ tomb was still in place. If the son of God couldn’t overcome death, there was no hope.
Often hope eludes us until we roll away boulders of guilt or discard the excess activities that consume our time and energy, so we can focus on the dreams God has placed in our hearts.
Father, I praise You for the dreams You’ve placed in my heart. Show me what excess baggage I need to purge to fulfill them. Keep my family and me safe today, and bind us closer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.