In the Book of Acts, Paul is a prisoner and is placed on a ship to Rome as the charge of a centurion named Julius. The ship encounters rough seasonal weather and ports in Crete. Paul warns those in charge that leaving this port will be disastrous, but Fair Haven was a poor port to winter in. They decide to risk the short trip to Phoenix was much better suited, so Paul’s warning to them was dismissed. Soon they were caught in a severe storm and were unable to keep the ship under control. It was truly a ship at the mercy of the sea, and lost any hope of survival. The crew and the captain had trusted in their knowledge of the ship, the sea, and their experience to get them through, but nothing helped them gain control of the ship.
How often do we perceive we have control, but in reality, we have little if any. It is easier to trust in something or someone we can see or hear or touch. How often does the deception of control blind us to the swirling unseen danger around us and it only is after we have sunk into hopelessness that we reach out to God and pray, “help me.”
The Lord had reached out to this crew through Paul. Stay, and you’ll be fine. But greed and pride compelled them to ignore the Lord’s hand of help. Now there was no more greed, they willingly threw the precious cargo overboard. There was no more pride, they were out of solutions.
What is it about us that the Lord becomes our last hope? What is it about us that we swat away his leading, his wisdom, his best for us because we know better. It’s sunny today, let’s sail. I’m confident we can make it.
Why Lord can’t we trust you when we hear you? Why Lord can’t we believe that you only want what is best for us? Why do we ignore your best for us because we want something and we must have it? As if you don’t want our best? Is it only the storms that bring us back to you?
For the crew, it took a loss of everything. What idol they held onto was thrown down in front of the awesome and dreadful saving power of Paul’s God. They were blind to Paul’s God in the beginning, but now their eyes were opened to the power of who he is and what he does. And they finally follow.
What is it in our life that makes it fearful for us to follow God, to believe that he loves us with such a great passion that he would give up his only son. What will it take for you?