Since February 10th, I have been reading through Luke and Acts. It was a part of a Lent reading that writer/speaker Margaret Feinberg put together.
I have heard about Paul being shipwrecked before, but honestly, I'd never read it until today. I felt like there was something for us all to learn from it.
As you read in the Scripture above, the boat Paul was on had been in a storm for 2 weeks! Can you imagine? (He was a prisoner, by the way. This wasn't a missionary trip.)
The kicker is this.. Paul told them not to go, but they went anyway. In verse 10, "Men, he said, "I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on- shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well."
Verse 11 says, "But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship's captain and the owner than to Paul."
So...they went. And ended up in a storm that was over two weeks long!!
Isn't this true for our lives?
We feel like doing something, maybe God warns us not to.. through the Bible, in a dream, or from a person we asked advice from. But hardheaded us, we do it anyway.
The storm comes. Then God gets blamed or questioned. "Where are you God?" "Why am I going through this?"
I can almost hear God saying, "Well, Jill, I warned you not to do this, I knew it wouldn't be good for you. But you wouldn't listen."
One way the sailors tried to improve the conditions of the storm was to throw things overboard. Verses 18 & 19 say, "The next day, as gale-force winds continued to battler the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. The following day they even took some of the ship's gear and threw it overboard."
When we are living in a storm, we have things to get rid of too that might help. Grudges, un-forgiveness, anger, envy, pride, jealousy, are just a few that come to mind. Some of our storms are self induced. Maybe an issue between people has caused it. So, holding on to things like this is only making it worse. Let that stuff go!
Also, know this, God is always with us in the storms! In verses 21-25, Paul tells the men to eat and not worry because God came to him and told him they would all be ok. All 276 of them. They ended up running the boat ashore, but they lived.
We will live through our storms too, and we can trust that God sees what's going on. He is right here, hoping we will turn to Him for help.
If you are going through a storm right now, take heart! Have faith that it will be over soon. It won't last forever. I promise. Let go of things, and trust God, that's how I get through my storms.
God bless you today and always.