Have you heard the story of Earnest Shackleton? He left England in August 1914 on the ship Endurance. He and his crew had planned to cross Antarctica on foot. There were 27 men that accompanied him on that journey. By January of 1915, when they were within 100 miles of land, but the ship was trapped in ice. The ice was, of course, adrift in the water, which caused them to be carried farther from land. Shackleton and the crew lived on the ship until November 1915, when the ice finally destroyed the ship and it sank. They then lived on a large shifting ice pack with supplies salvaged from the ship until April 1916, when they finally sailed to Elephant Island in three lifeboats they had salvaged from the ship. In Steve Farrar's his book Finishing Strong he reveals three things about sin: (1) Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, (2) Sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and (3) Sin will cost you more than you wanted to pay. I believe that the ice that Shackleton encountered is like sin: (1) It took them away from their goal, (2) It kept them there longer than they wanted, and (3) It cost them the success of their expedition and the loss of the ship. Shackleton had a goal, a vision, and a plan, but he never did accomplish his goal of crossing Antarctica on foot. Sometimes things do not work out like we plan. If we are focused only on success, we might fail. But, if we are focused on maturity and learning life lessons, life will always be a terrific journey full of amazing stories. When forced to make a difficult decision about abandoning his ship, Earnest Shackleton commented, "She's pretty near her end. The ship can't live in this…. what the ice gets, the ice keeps." Do you feel like you are in a shipwreck? In Psalm 69:1-4 David compares his life to one who is drowning and calling out for help. Water has reached his neck. His voice is sore. His eyes are tired from waiting for someone to rescue him. What did he do? He cried out to God! Then, he lifted himself up and started over by praising God (vs.29-36). I wonder what might be eating away you. What have you sunk into in your own life? Will you abandon ship? Paul warned Timothy not to shipwreck his faith, but to "do what you know is right" (I Timothy 1:18-20). Forget about your failures and cast off the sin in your life. Don't let your pride lead you to become ignorant. You'll only sink deeper and deeper. Take a hold of the lifeboat of salvation and start your journey home. Jesus is stretching out His nail-scarred hand. Will you take it?
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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