Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.
~ Acts 27:31 - 32
Paul was certainly a man with many experiences. In his time sharing the gospel, he traveled many places, spent time in prison, and survived a shipwreck.
A ship he had been riding on was bound to run aground, and for fourteen days the crew battled the raging waters. Paul had shared with the crew that if they would remain with the boat, the nearly three hundred men would survive.
At one point as they realize they are heading towards the shore, they begin throwing over the anchors, and lowered a lifeboat, thinking that they may stand a better chance of surviving.
Paul warns them that unless they remain on the ship, their lives will be lost. So they cut the lifeboat free, and stay on the boat.
They are hungry, having not been able to eat during the trip, because the waters were so rough. He encourages the crew to eat what they can, and after doing so, they throw over all the grain, making the ship less heavy, and higher in the water so that they don't crash into the rocks below the surface and safely make it to shore, saving all the lives on board.
It's funny how we are ready to jump ship when difficult times come. When the storms of life seem to rock us, and sometimes the advice of others have us ready to abandon the situation.
Years ago while visiting a cancer patient, she shared with me that the doctor had given her a ten percent chance to survive.
As we sat and talked, a smile came across her face and she said to me, "Those are just the odds that God loves."
You see, storms will come. The sky will become cloudy, and let's face it, sometimes it is hard to have courage. But then there is that voice of faith that reminds us to have courage and believe that all will be well.
The glass will once again appear half full, and that we will make it, sometimes by one day at a time, or for some, minute by minute. While we are in the storm, we must never forget that we are always in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.