by Coach Debbie
Go lock yourself in the bathroom and get a mini break from your kids real quick. Let’s peer into God’s Word (don’t rush as you read):
Acts 27:13-26 THE STORM
"When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the “northeaster,” swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure. When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither the sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."
Do you need to go reread that?
Focus on the first sentence. They thought they were getting what they wanted. Gentle wind? Yes please. Can you relate? We want what’s easy and pleasurable.
Then what happens? Storms and fears. The rug is pulled out from under us. Drama. Unexpected hardship. A turn of events that lands us in the valley. Those sailors reacted in a way that I dare say you and I might: they gave up all hope of being saved.
Hopeless. Fear led to hopelessness. We don’t know how things will turn out so we assume the worst. How could we have hope amidst damage, destruction and loss?! They tried to “fix” it in their own strength with zero results.
How does God respond? Not with scolding but with hope. Do not be afraid. Keep up your courage. Not one of you will be lost. He stands beside you.
They thought they were getting what they wanted. They did 2,000 years ago and we do today. How easy to become self-absorbed and independent.
But there is a storm of evil around us. Our flesh gives way to sins. We. Cannot. Last. Much. Longer. We’re incapable of saving ourselves. Life is hard.
In steps our Main Character onto the scene. The God of Hope. The God who is Omnipresent. The God of Courage. He leaves the perfection of His Dad’s Home to see that none are lost.
May we bow down to the Savior, who is not limited to a manger and swaddling clothes. He is real. He is at work. He has carried your sins. He has exchanged them for His righteousness, should you accept. He is love. He has lessons to be learned in the middle of the hurricane. He is the anchor. He is the gentle southern wind.