September 13, 2021 - Acts 27:13-44
Wind currents can be tricky and difficult to read and gauge. Not being a pilot or a sailor, all I can do is look at the weather forecast or go outside and feel the air movement. Not very scientific, but most of the time, it is all that is necessary for my needs. For instance, yesterday I knew it was a gusty day as I tried to keep my notes from flying off while speaking outside.
Paul and the people that were on the ship with him had to identify the wind and the currents of the Mediterranean Sea as they attempted to navigate the ship to Rome. The passengers trusted the sailors and crew members who had spent their lives daily studying the signs and weather patterns of their region.
As those sailors observed a favorable wind and weather pattern, they set off on their journey to get to a harbor that was better suited for winter weather. Though unseen, another weather front was close behind the favorable one which would threaten all their lives. This ferocious storm struck with such suddenness and power they soon were hopelessly in its grip! Tempest-tossed and completely at the mercy of the storm, they did everything in their power to survive. They tossed nonessential items overboard, they worked night and day to keep the ship afloat, and finally realized they could do no more. All hope was lost!
That was when God appeared on the scene, restored hope, and gave courage to a completely defeated group of sailors, soldiers, and passengers. Paul stood and proclaimed that an angel had spoken to him and assured him that he must stand before Caesar and that the lives of all with him would be saved. His message did not change the storm as it continued to rage but, for Paul, he had an assurance that soon became apparent to those around him.
Apparently, Paul's calmness, his ability to influence and give direction to those around him gave him a platform to influence his captors and the captain of the ship. His encouragement and rational instructions to take nourishment and trust in Christ led them to follow his directions.
Storms in life bring to the surface an individuals' ability to lead and assist people. It does not matter the position you are in when the unexpected occurs, what becomes evident is the action and attitude you bring to the crisis. Paul, the prisoner, soon became the temporary leader in order to bring all to the safety of the island on which they were to be marooned. His trust in the Lord allowed him to speak and act confidently despite the circumstances that threatened everyone's lives. His belief in God's word, "...for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me" (v. 25), led him to act decisively.
Trust God's word in the midst of difficulties this week. He is the same today as He was yesterday and His promises to us never grow old or go out of date. He is the Master of the storm!