Luke Aristarchus and Paul along with 273 sailors soldiers and prisoners set sail that day…I really want to sing “for a three hour tour..” But it was towards Rome. Things did not go well.
A really bad storm came up. Luke says, “when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we gave up all hope of being saved.”
Storms are a part of sailing. Troubles and trials are a part of life. Every life will encounter them. How will we respond?
Paul was told by Jesus that he would go to Rome. Then while on the ship he was encouraged again by an Angel.
“Last night an angel of God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you’.
It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t without struggle or peril. “42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.”
There is no standard or rule that I can see that God uses to get people where he wants them and we do not know how our patience and confidence in an unseen God is affecting those around us. An all-knowing God makes plans that baffle the unknowing people who serve him. Yet, he cares, yet He sees, yet he knows and provides.
They say the shortest distance between point a and point b is a straight line. Efficiency is not Gods main concern. He doesn’t always take the straight line to get me to where he wants me. I think I can safely say this, if we are his, we are, right now right where he wants us. Even if we have strayed, God knows where we are and can use our present situation for His glory. I am right where he wants me. Today that is a very uncomfortable spot. I am out on a figurative ledge way beyond my comfort zone, not even in the same ZIP code as my comfort zone. Help me Jesus. Use me while I’m here. But don’t leave me here.
(Originally posted 11/04/15)