As a boy, I often heard my grandmother use the expression "When my ship comes in." That was her way of procrastinating while excusing herself for not being wealthy.
"When my ship comes in...
... I am going to put a new roof on the house."
... I'm going to take a much-needed vacation."
... I am going to buy some new clothes. "
What exactly is one waiting for when they are waiting for their ship to come in? Are they waiting for a rich uncle to leave them a small fortune in his will? Are they waiting for Publishers Clearing House or Reader's Digest sweepstakes personnel to call with news that they have just won $10 million?
Sometimes I wonder if perhaps we, as Christians, have not lost the meaning of our walk of faith by waiting for our ships to come in. What an incredible blanket of deception Satan pulls over our eyes! The truth is this: All our work will never be done; all of our educational endeavors will never be complete; and, most likely, we will never be out of debt. Even though we might work through all of these things and eliminate them one by one, there will always be something else to take its place.
In all honesty, we must ask ourselves: "Does all my work have to be finished before I can touch another life with the love of Christ?" "Can I minister without risking my education or career by the giving of a few hours?" "Does all my indebtedness have to be wiped out in order to buy a few pair of socks and underwear for a child in need?"
While waiting for our ships to come in, we may miss the greatest of all spiritual blessings by being unmindful that our ship has already come in. Our ship came in 2,000 years ago in the person of the Holy Spirit.
This ship that we keep looking for before we accomplish certain things must be to us an enabler, and so is the Holy Spirit of God! We so often look to the physical and material realm to meet the needs of others while failing to realize that God can meet other's needs through us, being limited only by our willingness to let him work.
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Ephesus, saying; "Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
What exactly is the power that works in us? It is nothing less than the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which enables, equips and energizes the believer to serve God. This power is realized when we yield ourselves to him and make ourselves available to his use.
Knowing this, may we make ourselves available to be used by God for His glory.
Jerry L. Dunn can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.