I have nearly finished my journey through the book of Acts. As you can see, this one below is from Acts 27.
What I have particularly enjoyed lately has been look at chapters which I haven’t really given much serious thought to before and, to be honest, don’t get preached on that often. At first glance that last few chapters of Acts appear to be the monotonous stop-start journey of Paul all the way to Rome to give an account for something that frankly, by this stage, you’ve forgotten what it was. (Getting arrested in the temple in case you were wondering.)
You know what though? They are amazing and it just reminds me again of what God can teach us when we’re really listening.
Anyway, I just had to share with you something that I received from this:
Acts 27:25-29 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” 27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.
To bring you up to speed with the context, they’re trying to reach Rome as quick as possible. The weather has been rubbish most of the way. Having to swap ships after an earlier battering. They retreat into a port as winter draws near. Instead of staying there, they reckon they can make the journey before winter hits. Paul says “bad idea lads.” They ignore Paul. God talks to Paul telling him what’s going to happen. Paul shares this with all 276 blokes on board.
The news is essentially “I told you so….but we will all live.” However, as you can see, the proviso is they’ll lose the ship.
Let me summarize: Here’s God’s plan. Here’s what it’s going to cost. Here’s what you’ll have at the end: your life.
Now what are they going to do?
This is a super critical question because it creates an application point for us today when we are faced with the inevitable.
Whatever storm you may be in, if it is part of God’s plan, certain things are inevitable. The question is, what are we going to do about it?
What did the crew of the ship do?
(v28) Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.
Here’s what they are doing: they are trying to stop the shipwreck.
Because they don’t really a) like God’s plan spoken through Paul and b) believe that you can really have a 100% survival rate from a shipwreck in these parts.
So what do they do? They (try to) wrestle back control of the situation. Wrestle back control of thier lives. Instead of let God’s will be done and adopt the posture of a passenger.
I am an F1 racing fan. One thing I know about F1 driving is, if you’ve strayed off the racing line at 300km/hr (bad decision) and hence lost grip only to be sent spinning toward a wall, one of the most important things to remember is to get your hands off the wheel. Because if the front wheels impact a wall at such a speed, they are going to turn the steering rack and hence the wheel at such a force that if you’re holding on to it, it has the potential to literally rip your hands clean off your arms.
Sometimes you have to let go of the wheel.
Sometimes you have to cut the anchor rope.
Sometimes you have to embrace the possibility of dying to every other thing in life, before you’ll find yourself truly alive.
You’ve heard this before of course: Luke 9:24 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
The opposite of panic is not to ‘pray for daylight.’
The opposite of panic is to be a passenger.
In a world obsessed with controlling everything, let go of the wheel no matter the cost and adopt the posture of who we really are before a sovereign God;
Then we find out what it really means to be saved.