‘When…the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.’
Acts 27:20 NIV
There are times in life when God seems distant. We pray but feel abandoned, overwhelmed by our circumstances, afraid and hopeless. Paul was no different. He’d longed for an opportunity to preach in Rome, and was on his way there when a hurricane struck his ship. Paul had not only foreseen the loss of the ship, its crew and cargo, but his ‘own [life] also’ (v.10 NIV). But the captain, the pilot, and the centurion in charge of him did not listen to Paul’s warnings. Consequently, Paul and 276 fellow passengers were placed in a life-threatening crisis, and there was nothing he could do about it. The Bible tells us that they ‘finally gave up all hope of being saved.’ But God sent an angel to Paul. The angel 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’ (v.24 NIV). They were cold, soaked, and hungry when their ship finally ran aground on an island south of Italy. Every circumstance pointed to tragedy and the end of Paul’s dream of preaching in Rome. However, when the sun rose on the island of Malta next morning, it became clear that God had guided them through the storm to the exact destination He had planned for them. And Paul ended up declaring God’s Word before Caesar in Rome. We might be feeling like the storm in our lives will never end, and that we’re being blown off course from God’s plan. But we need to remember that God’s still guiding us and He’s still with us.
If you’re in the middle of the storm right now, take a few minutes to sit in silence and ask God to speak to you about your situation.