Written By Rick Schafer
Home Alone 3 – Storms
Paul’s Trip to Rome In A Storm
13 When a moderate south wind began to blow, they thought they could achieve their purpose; so they weighed anchor and began to sail past Crete, close to the shore. 14 But soon a violent wind, called the northeaster, rushed down from Crete. 15 Since the ship was caught and could not be turned head-on into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven. 16 By running under the lee of a small island called Cauda we were scarcely able to get the ship’s boat under control. 17 After hoisting it up they took measures to undergird the ship; then, fearing that they would run on the Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and so were driven. 18 We were being pounded by the storm so violently that on the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard, 19 and on the third day with their own hands they threw the ship’s tackle overboard. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
Do Not Be Afraid
21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul then stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and thereby avoided this damage and loss. 22 I urge you now to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we will have to run aground on some island.”
27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea of Adria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms; a little farther on they took soundings again and found fifteen fathoms. 29 Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 But when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and had lowered the boat into the sea, on the pretext of putting out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat and set it adrift.
Saving The People
33 Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will lose a hair from your heads.” 35 After he had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves. 37 (We were in all two hundred seventy-six persons in the ship.) 38 After they had satisfied their hunger, they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea.
39 In the morning they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned to run the ship ashore, if they could. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea. At the same time they loosened the ropes that tied the steering-oars; then hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef, they ran the ship aground; the bow stuck and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the force of the waves. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none might swim away and escape; 43 but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest to follow, some on planks and others on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land. – Acts 27:13-44
When Will This End?
“How long, Lord? How long?!” “Hasn’t this gone on long enough?” This is tough, being at home, out of the normal routine. When will it all end? What is YOUR plan, Lord?
This morning, after a day of almost an inch of rain, don’t you know, I think of storms. How bad is it? I think of the storm that Paul had to suffer through sailing to Rome. No sun, only storms and clouds for 14 days. (The means of navigation at this time was positioning of the sun, so with the cloud cover and crashing storm, they were lost at sea.) They hadn’t eaten for 14 days because of trying to survive the storm. But, check it out, they all made it. God was with them, but they had to do some pretty unnatural things to survive, as instructed by an angel in a vision to Paul. Did you catch that? God was with them; they had to do some things that were not common for a sailor, and they were all saved! Not too much unlike our times now, is it? God is with us; we need to do things that are not familiar to us; we are saved (thanks to Jesus).
Jesus Calms The Storm
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” – Mark 4:35-41
Scripture tells us Jesus’ disciples had encountered storms. One time was when Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat, a storm suddenly arose. They woke Jesus. Think about it. Here Jesus was in the same boat, only asleep! I guess He wasn’t worried about the storm and waves, since He knew who was in control. [Hmmmm. Think about that.]
Jesus Walks On Water
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
47 When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. 49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded. – Mark 6:45-51
Another time, Jesus instructed the disciples to go to the other side of the lake. Again, the winds arose and the disciples had to work hard to try to keep the boat on course. It was nighttime, they became afraid when they, unknowingly, saw Jesus walk out to them on the water, thinking He was a ghost. When He stepped into the boat, the water became calm. [Wow!]
Amazing! Just as the waves settle down in the presence of Jesus, so do our hearts. When we fix our “heart eyes” on Jesus we can have a sweet calmness, a “peace that passes all understanding.” Quoting from a song written by Scott Krippayne titled, Sometimes He Calms The Storm,
“Suddenly fear is like white water pounding on the soul. Still we sail on knowing that our Lord is in control.”
Now pay attention to this next part.
Sometimes He calms the storm with a whispered, ‘Peace be still’; He can settle any sea, but, it doesn’t mean He will. Sometimes He holds us close and lets the wind and waves go wild.
Here comes the clincher.
[Check out the song on YouTube. ]
”Sometimes He calms the storm, and other times He calms His child.”
How great is that! God knows our needs. Sometimes He settles the things around us, and sometimes He settles us down. So, again, focus…fix your eyes on Jesus for calmness in all these storms of life. In John 14:1 Jesus said,
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me.”
Seems to me this is important for us to hear [read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest], since Jesus repeated this thought in verse 27 [which is quoted below].
Here are some words from the song My Lighthouse sung by Rend Collective [Another one to watch on YouTube.]
“In the silence, You won’t let go. In the questions, Your truth will hold. Your great love will lead me through, You are the peace in my troubled sea. My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse, shining in the darkness. I will follow You. My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse, I will trust the promise You will carry me safe to shore.”
Reminds me of Jesus’ words,
“Trust in God, trust also in Me.” – John 14:1
Don’t let go of Jesus’ promise,
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
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