We’ll get to today’s point in just a moment, but before we do, I want to point out something in verse 28. “And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.” Remember several days back when we discussed casting off the things that are holding us back? I mentioned that often the things we have to cast off are good things and that the casting is not a one-time process. This verse proves both points. After eating, they threw the food overboard. Food is definitely a good thing, but at this point, it weighed them down (no pun intended). And while they had already lightened the ship once, it was time for another “casting party.” I love it when God reminds us of and confirms His Word.
Okay, on to today’s lesson. Notice the wording in the last verse, “they committed themselves unto the sea.” They had pulled up the anchors and allowed the sea to carry them wherever it would. The wind was in their favor. They saw a place where they might safely land the ship. But at this point, all they could do was pull up the anchors, commit themselves to the sea, and hope for the best. And sometimes in life, that’s all we can do, but we have an advantage, and I’ll get to that in just a bit.
I’m certain none of these sailors, guards, or prisoners planned to arrive at the shore by these means. None of them expected to have a shipwreck. But we don’t always get what we plan, do we? You didn’t plan to be laid off from work, but it happened anyway. You didn’t plan to say “goodbye” to your precious loved one so early in life, but it happened. You didn’t plan to have health issues that hinder you from doing all the things you so want to do, but it happened. Plans are great but only when we realize that, ultimately, we are not the ones in control.
We can make plans, but it’s up to God whether those plans will come to pass. He is the One in control, and His ways are above our ways. But we struggle with that, don’t we? We like our plans. We cling to our routines. We love expectations. Until the plans fall apart, the routines go crazy, and the expectations go unmet. Let’s face it, we set ourselves up for disappointment because we fail to commit our lives to God. We hesitate to say, “Thy will be done” because we feel, by doing so, we’ll lose control of the situation. But I ask you, are you in control of the situation now?
Does anyone else feel like their brain is a never-ending spinning carnival ride? Round and round it turns with thoughts, ideas, plans, arrangements, schedules, and so much more. It’s exhausting and leaves us frazzled and weary. But according to the verse above, we wouldn’t have those spinning thoughts if we would commit our lives to God. If you study out the meaning, the verse is saying, “Turn your cares over to God, and your thinking is done for you.” We don’t have to figure out how to make things work. We don’t have to decide if Choice A is better than Choice B. No more fretting. No more sleepless nights. No more pages and pages of schedules that didn’t work out. It’s all in God’s hands, and all we have to do is follow where He leads. When He says “Go,” we go. When He says, “Stay,” we stay. And we can live out our days in peace, surrendered to the One who knows all things.
As for the advantage we have over the sailors in our text, we are committing ourselves to One who loves and cares for us, One who has promised us good and not evil. Whereas, they committed themselves to the sea, which had not been friendly toward them. They had no assurance that the sea would be kind or that it had their best interest at heart. But, my friend, we have that blessed assurance. We can commit ourselves to God’s plan because we know His plan is better than anything we could ever ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). We know He is on our side (Romans 8:31). And we trust He will work all things for our good (Romans 8:28).
It’s time we stop fighting God and allow Him to have His perfect way in our lives. It’s time we speak from our mouths and our hearts, “Thy will be done!”