We are winding down with only one chapter to go after this. Acts at this point is all about Paul and his journey. How amazing is it that he first appeared persecuting the church and now he is he persecuted?
The Romans are attempting to sail Paul to Rome when the wind is against them. Sometimes the winds of life can be with us and sometimes they can be against us. People, trials, problems, persecutions, and circumstances can work for us to make it easier or against us to make it harder. We don’t get to choose. The storms of life come to us all and how we respond determines how we make it through.
Only we can determine if the storm on the outside gets inside us. Paul warned them not to go at this time and they go anyhow. What boldness for a prisoner to dictate to his captors. They struggle along and have to lighten their load. The storms of life often work in our favor because they cause us to throw some unnecessary things overboard. Some things that are just weighing us down.
The ship starts to fall apart and Paul tells them that they must stay with the ship and not abandon it if they want to live. We have to stay with the ship to survive. The ship may be going down but it provides safety until the right moment.
The men didn’t eat during this time and Paul encouraged them to eat. Often we we go through a storm we can neglect ourselves. We can’t do God’s will for our lives if we are disqualified. Paul encouraged them. In the storm you need people who will encourage you to make it through. He trusted God in the storm and God brought him through it. He took solace in the promise of God during rough seas.
Eventually the ship breaks up. Sadly not all ships make it through the storm. The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners. In the storm, people try to cut their loses and do things that they later regret. Everyone escapes and some of them wind up floating to shore on the debris. I know I just went through a storm of life and see so many parallels to our situation. We floating ashore on the pieces of the ship we were on. We survived and came ashore but just not where we thought we would be or where we were going.
So to recap:
- circumstances can make life easier or harder
- encourage yourself and others through the storm
- cut loose of some things you don’t need in the storm
- trust God to make it through the storm
- stay with the ship as long as you can, don’t give up
- don’t attack others during the storm
- cling to the pieces God puts you with until you reach the next assignment/land