Sailing the Seven C's - Conclusion

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Over the past several posts we’ve discussed how to stand fast amid troubled seas by Sailing the Seven C’s:

 1. Consider your foundation

 2. Cast away what’s holding you back.

 3. Cheer up the brethren.

 4. Claim God’s word.

 5. Cling to the anchor.

 6. Continue doing what you know to do.

 7. Commit yourself to God’s plan.

Following these guidelines doesn’t mean the storms will never strike, but it offers us the means to make it through, and that’s what I want to talk about today—making it through.

And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.
— Acts 27:41-44

Just as Paul had declared, the ship was destroyed, but no lives were lost. They all made it through though I doubt any of the 276 people aboard that ship planned on arriving in such a state. I guarantee you none of them planned on swimming or floating along on a piece of the ship. That was not how things were supposed to play out, but that’s life for you. Seldom does life give us what we expect. We plan for sun and get rain. We plan for retirement and get disease. We plan for financial freedom and end up with a boatload of debt. No, life does not work according to our plans, no matter how grand or sincere they may be. And that can cause major discouragement and disappointment. That is, until we change our perspective.

We’ve established that none of these prisoners arrived on land the way they expected, right? But I ask you, how many of them, do you think, were complaining because they had to swim or float on a board? I’m guessing none of them because they were simply thankful to be alive. They made it to the shore, and at that point in time, it didn’t matter how they made it, only that they did!

I’m reminded of the children of Israel during the Exodus. There was a direct route from Egypt to the Promised Land, but it wound its way through Philistine territory. The Philistines were a mean, warring people, and God feared if He led the people in that direction, the people would turn tail and run back to Egypt. So, He took them the long way around.

And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
— Exodus 13:17-18

The bad news is, sometimes God takes us the long way around—through the storm, across the sea, through the wilderness. Yes, sometimes the journey is long and hard, and it becomes difficult to stand fast. However, there is good news. For starters, we never travel alone. God is always with us, leading, guiding, and comforting. Plus, we have His promise that no matter what we face, we will make it through. It may not be when or how we expect, but we will make it to the other side of the storm, the other side of the sea, the other side of the wilderness.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
— Isaiah 43:2

Through the waters. Through the rivers. Through the fire. We will make it through. Never doubt that and never forget it. No matter how much the storm is raging right now, it will pass, and you will make it safely to the other side.  

Your victory is guaranteed, so stand fast, me hearties and sail on.