As we approach the fast of Jonah, it is fitting for us to contemplate a verse that mentions the sailors facing the violent sea that nearly wrecked their ship. The Book says” Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load ” Jonah 1:5″.
O beloved of the Lord, how heavy is the cargo that burdens our journey towards the kingdom of heaven and disrupts our waft towards the happy homeland. There are many desires and bad habits that hinders our sailing, and we are in the sea of this world despite our inner longing for real and eternal rest. Our loads on our ship exceeds the permissible load, the evil lusts violates the natural need that was planted in us for our role in life on earth. Everything in our path should be within the permissible range to carry on the ship of our lives. And God has given us a brain to be our scale for weighing the permitted loads of our journey to His kingdom. Moderation has saved many, and as our teacher Paul the Apostle says” For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” ( Romans 12:3). And think of himself means to view a matter with an internal Vision being convinced of what he sees to be implemented.
We have to do what the mariners did to save their ship, for they threw their cargo. We are in real need for a quiet session with ourselves to take the decision to throw the extra cargo that burdens our journey. Sit with yourself after you close all methods of earthly communication, close the door, and be in the presence of the Lord, and ask Him to help you throw away the heavy disabling cargo. Reveal to me with Your Holy Spirit what to begin with and give me the strength and the ability to abandon this weight unhindered.
The Bible is your best guide for what to cast away from your life, you will find the following:
+ ” Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a
new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?” ( Ezekiel 18:31).
+ ” Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” ( Ezekiel 20:7).
What about our eyes and what they see on social media, where they collide with the unclean goods of satan that pollutes everything that is beautiful and useful, seeing what should not be seen to the eye that is an eye of Christ in us, which has been given to us in Baptism and was refined by Mayroun?! ” Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not”! ( 1 Corinthians 6:15). James the apostle says” Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” ( James 1:21).
+ ” Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another” ( Ephesians 4:25). We often lie, dodge and falsify things in our daily lives. Is it not the time to give up lying in all its forms and shapes?! For the devil was called a liar and the father of all liars.
+ ” Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking” ( 1 Peter 2:1). They are, my loved ones, spiritual pests, the baggage of the devil that weighs on our ship. It is now the time to wake up and cast it all away, sailing on our journey and arriving
safely. One might say: I can not do all this. Yes, for the Lord says to us, without Me, you can not do anything. But when we are determined to cast those heavy baggages away, and when we declare our weaknesses in real humility before God, asking faithfully that Christ might free us from our burdens, we will then receive what we ask for. Did not He encourage us by saying” put your burden on the Lord, and He will provide for you?! Let us begin without delay.
When we begin casting away the cargo of the devil, world and self out of our ship with the help of the Lord, then we become in the hands of the Lord as little children, carrying us on His shoulders and putting us in his bosom. ” I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself ” ( Exodus 19:4).
If we throw away those baggages that hinder and sink us, we must also let the Holy Spirit fill us with His fruits and bear the light of Jesus Christ” Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ( Matthew 11:29-30). Our lives will become as light as a feather. Flying high into the heavens while we are on earth but free from everything except Christ our redeemer, free from our desires, lusts, and bad habits. Free from all, to be won for the Lord. Free from bondage of the devil, sin, self and the world that was placed in the wicked. We lightly rise above all obstacles, hills and mountains that rise against the knowledge of God.
It is pleasing to end with Habakkuk saying” Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills” ( Habakuk 3:17-19).