Pastor's Column 8/14/22

PASTOR’S COLUMN

“The others held on to planks or debris from the broken ship. So everyone escaped safely to shore.”

Acts 27:44, NLT

“Surviving A Stormy World!”

One of the most epic and instructive narratives in the New Testament is a story of the Apostle Paul’s odyssey at sea, during a violent storm. The narrative is particularly engaging because the account was given by an eye witness. Luke, who is believed to be the writer of the Book of Acts, was on board that ship. His immediate role was a personal physician to Paul, but he also was an avid historian. We see evidence of Luke’s knowledge of nautical facts and meteorological conditions, which is consistent with the history of weather conditions and maritime realities during that period. The issue at hand is that the Apostle Paul is on his way to the Imperial City, Rome, to appeal an earlier sentence given to him, which ostensibly could have cost his life. Paul was a prisoner, and traveled with other passengers who were mostly inmates themselves. The twist in the narrative is, Paul wants to go to Rome, because he is confident of his innocence. Also, as a committed follower of Christ, Paul could use this venue to defend the Savior and faith he has embraced. Aware of how treacherous conditions could be in the turbulent seas, Paul first offers his advice to the crew about taking a different course. It is only after an angel visits Paul at night, informing him that he is to instruct the 276 passengers to “remain on the ship,” that Paul concedes, realizing his own advice was contrary to God’s plan. Our best plans, however well-intended, are often pale in comparison to a greater purpose God has for us. It is in such times that we should be willing to abandon our thoughts, in favor of God’s will. Paul told the crew and passengers on the ship; they would run aground. All who “remain” on board would be saved! Apparently, this applied to those who in attempting to survive, would hold on to the broken pieces of the ship’s stern and hull. Life will often bring about unexpected storms. God will not always remove the conditions, but He brings us to safety!

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