13 A gentle south wind began to blow. The ship’s crew thought they saw their chance to leave safely. So they pulled up the anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind blew down from the island. It had the force of a hurricane. It was called the Northeaster. 15 The ship was caught by the storm. We could not keep it sailing into the wind. So we gave up and were driven along by the wind. 16 We passed the calmer side of a small island called Cauda. We almost lost the lifeboat that was tied to the side of the ship. 17 So the men lifted the lifeboat on board. Then they tied ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. They were afraid it would get stuck on the sandbars of Syrtis. So they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took a very bad beating from the storm. The next day the crew began to throw the ship’s contents overboard. 19 On the third day, they even threw the ship’s tools and supplies overboard with their own hands. 20 The sun and stars didn’t appear for many days. The storm was terrible. So we gave up all hope of being saved. 21 The men had not eaten for a long time. Paul stood up in front of them. “Men,” he said, “you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete. Then you would have avoided this harm and loss. 22 Now I beg you to be brave. Not one of you will die. Only the ship will be destroyed. 23 I belong to God and serve him. Last night his angel stood beside me. 24 The angel said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must go on trial in front of Caesar. God has shown his grace by sparing the lives of all those sailing with you.’ 25 Men, continue to be brave. I have faith in God. It will happen just as he told me. 26 But we must run the ship onto the beach of some island.”
Talk about adventure! This section of scripture is so exciting to read and it is terrifying to put myself into the situation of a passenger on board this ship. Previously Paul warned those in charge that they should not proceed on their journey, that they would suffer great loss if they did… Even to their own lives.
Paul was right, they end up stuck in a massive low pressure weather system. But Paul continues to be directed by God and God reveals that though they will lose their boat, not person will lose their life. In this midst of fear and chaos, Paul is a mountain of strength for the crew and other passengers, he becomes a leader. He is able to be so strong and courageous because:
- He trusts in God, he gave up running his own life along time ago. Paul is down with whatever God has planned… Even if it means facing death.
- Paul knows that nothing can stop God’s plan.
- Paul knew that the next step was for him to see Caesar, he knew where he was going, so he wasn’t worried about hiccups along the way.
- He knows the power of God. The people Paul meets get over taken by the plan and power of God as well. Rather than Paul getting derailed by the plans of others, Paul sees God derail the plans of others so that only God’s plan may stand.
Lord God, may I trust you with my life, know the next steps I am to take, know that nothing will stop you and see your plan sweep over all around me. Amen.
Written by Andrew Mellor