Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land. And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come. And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.
And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible. And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.
And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
“Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” A promise sent through Paul and it so encouraged him he broke the fast and encouraged all of the rest to do the same. They saw no reason to believe they would make it to safety other than Paul’s confidence in God’s word. This confidence speaks volumes to those around us. When we are in the middle of life’s storms do others see our confidence in what God is able to accomplish, or do they hear our complaining and moaning about how hard life is and what a terrible situation we are in? Demonstrating faith as Paul does here, is an exercise of faith that is pleasing to God. Scripture says without faith we cannot please God. Do we demonstrate this kind of faith in our storms? Going further into the passage here we see that they followed Paul’s example and ate and then threw what was left of the food into the sea! They weren’t planning on needing it? They were with Paul and expecting to find safety on land. Once again let it be noted that while God could have calmed the storm he did not. He took them through the storm. In the process He was glorified, through Paul’s example. When we are in our storms are we glorifying God or demanding an explanation? Are we whining and complaining or are we praising God for what He is doing in us and what He will do for us? Are we allowing our faith in Him to be strengthened? In all things give thanks God’s word tells us. Paul gave thanks, ate and was taken to safety. Let us also take our storms to the Lord, then watch as He takes us through them. Let us be careful to give thanks and have faith. Let us glorify the God who created us and can and will keep us. “…he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. “ Be an encourager, share your faith, glorify God in all things.
Another post on the same subject from a younger perspective. It is a good read.
The Perfect Storm at: