Storms can hit every area of your life. And our first reaction in storms, is to try and find our own solutions. These soldiers think that the way forward is to jump ship. The sailors were trying to escape on life boats pretending they were letting down more anchors. But Paul saw what was up and told the commanding officer, the centurion that unless they stay on the ship they could not be saved. Paul’s solution was to listen to the voice of God, and not try to solve the problem with mere human resources. For the soldiers, it was safer to stay in the ship than on the life boat. Paul knew, from God, that this would not save them, so he challenged them to endure and be saved. Paul also focused the people on the boat to basic survival attitudes. Fear had stopped them from eating, so he prayed to God, over some food and got them to eat. After the sailors had eaten enough, they lighten the ship by throwing out excess cargo of grain. So when daylight came they saw land and decided to run the ship aground on the beach if they could. They were focused on their destination and were ready to do what it takes to get there. As the ship hit the reef, it broke into pieces, and, again, the soldiers reverted to human solutions to their problems. Afraid that the prisoners would escape, the soldiers wanted to kill them or they would be killed for allowing it. However, Paul had favour with the centurion in charge, because he had seen in Paul and his faith that God was in this whole situation, so he listened to Paul, and the wisdom that came from seeking God’s solution in the shipwreck. And because of Paul’s favour, with God and as a result, with the centurion, all were saved.
It is only natural to want to avoid hardship. Nobody wants to go thru it. But sometimes the Lords solution is found in being willing to stick it out. Many people walk away from Jesus, and the church community when troubles come, when they don’t have instant relief, saying God doesn’t care, or God has no power. What is our role when storms hit, in our lives, or in the lives of others we know? Be encouraged to hold on to Jesus, and encourage those we come alongside, and don’t rely on human understanding and solutions. Secondly, look to the basic ordinary things that are necessary. When people go through crisis, one basic thing we can do, is provide meals! It doesn’t change the circumstances, but it does give us a sense of being loved and supported. Thirdly, we need to keep focused of our destination, where we are headed together, see things by faith and not by sight, and help others to do the same. God provision of the ‘body of Christ’; and the authentic community that it is to belong to him and to one another is the richest resource we can have and offer others through the storms, and shipwrecks we face through life. Who can you come alongside today?