Tag Archives: storms

Devotional on Acts

Grab a plank and hang on for dear life

Acts 27: He gave orders for anyone who could swim to dive in and go for it, and for the rest to grab a plank.

Paul’s trip to Rome starts out peacefully enough but ends in shipwreck. The attempt to move the ship just a few miles to a better winter harbor results in disaster as a huge storm sweeps in, driving the ship out to sea. The sailors do all they can to save themselves and their passengers but it appears that their worst nightmare has come upon them and that all 276 on board will be lost. Then Paul reports that for a short time overnight there was not, 276 passengers, but 277 on board. The Lord sent an angel to encourage Paul and give him a message for the entire ship’s company. The ship will, indeed, be lost, but everyone will survive without a scratch. Soon, it’s “land-ho” as an island is spotted. The ship strikes a reef and is being torn apart and the order is given to “abandon ship.” Swimmers dive in and the land lubbers find bits and pieces of the ship and float to shore. As a person who isn’t much of a swimmer I can identify with those “plank grabbers.” No doubt, I would have been one of them. Spiritually speaking, we’re all, to some extent headed for shipwreck. After all, no one’s going to get out of this world alive. The only hope I have of surviving this shipwreck is to hold on to some wood that will get me to shore. That wood just happens to be in the shape of a cross.

Take Away: I’m holding on to that cross for “dear life.”

Devotional on Acts

Midnight visitations

Acts 23: That night the Master appeared to Paul: “It’s going to be all right.”

Paul, the former pursuer and persecutor of Christians is now himself, a Christian who is pursued and persecuted. When similar pressure broke out in other places the believers have secreted him out of town and out of danger. Now, though, he’s held prisoner by the Romans. When forty or more men take an oath to kill Paul the Romans take action similar what has been done before; they move him out of town. Paul, at the center of this whole storm, is surprisingly calm and filled with hope. Why? It’s because he’s heard from the Lord that “It’s going to be all right.” His confinement has just begun and things will get worse. How many times will he return in spirit to that night at the Roman garrison in Jerusalem when the Master, himself, came to encourage him? This visitation of the Lord will become his anchor as the storm of adversity crashes down on him. We not only need some midnight visits from the Lord as we deal with the issues of life, but we also need to cherish them; to remember them and draw strength from them. Then, as the storm’s fury is unleashed on us we can draw from those midnight visitations and be strengthened to perseverance and peace.

Take Away: We not only need some midnight visits from the Lord as we deal with the issues of life, but we also need to cherish them as well.