Our travels with Paul take us through Acts 27:13-26. A gentle wind turned into a storm stronger than before, a “wind of hurricane force swept down” upon them as they journeyed to Rome. The ship couldn’t sustain the force of the wind and they gave way to it. Fearing they would loose their life boat, they hoisted it on the ship and passed robes underneath the ship to hold it together! They lowered the anchor one day, threw cargo overboard the 2nd day and threw their tackle overboard on the 3rd day. There was no sun or stars for many days as the storm continued raging!! Finally they gave up all hope of being saved.
Can you imagine the exhaustion they must have felt? Can you imagine what they went through; for DAYS… probably with no sleep, no food, and the constant onslaught of gale force winds and the waves crashing at them from all sides!
There have been times when I felt like I’ve been in these kinds of storms (circumstances) where it seems like you don’t see the light on the other side. There seems to be no direction! You have no idea where you are heading! You feel like life is spiraling out of control and it seems there is NOTHING you can do! And then you wonder if you will be saved from the torment! Will you ever be delivered from this season!
In vs. 20 Paul originally includes himself with “we” who were loosing hope. At first glance, Paul may have been a prisoner to those on the ship but many times Paul has referred to himself as “a prisoner of Jesus Christ”; the prisoner who was “in chains for Jesus Christ” was the one who offered hope when there seemed to be no hope at all! The one who walked and talked with the Lord (supposedly as their prisoner) told them they should have listened to him at first… but never-the-less …keep up your courage, not one of you will be lost only the ship will be destroyed was the message Paul spoke to the men on board (vs.22-23) Orignially Paul was a part of the “we” but do you now sense a peace, a hope from Paul with the message he delivered? And could you imagine what may have gone through the minds of the men who heard this message… by the way you will be saved but the ship will be destroyed! What do you do once you are in the midst of a catastrophic storm?
Lately, we have seen all around us the devastation that has happened in Japan, the numerous tornadoes that ripped through the southeast and now the flooding that is taking place all along the Mississippi River affecting thousands of lives and land! You may or may not be affected by these storms personally, but there are those who have. What do you do?
“For many days neither sun nor stars appeared, and the severe storm kept raging; finally all hope that we would be saved was disappearing.”(Acts 27:20)