Just a few weeks ago Hurricane Sally damaged the area of the country where my parents raised me and my brothers. As I write these words another hurricane is in the Gulf of Mexico headed in that general direction again. Storms!
He had been at sea a few times before. He had sailed to different countries and back again. He was no stranger to the sea nor to her dangers. This voyage was different. This time, he was not sailing for pleasure or for business. He was in custody. He was on a prison ship. His next stop was a prison cell, or so he, the sailers, and the other prisoners thought.
The sea soon rose against them, a tempestuous nor’easter came from on shore. They found a leeward side of an island, hoping to secure the ship, but they were in the shallows and feared running aground so they let the storm drive them out to sea. Three days in they begin to lighten the ship, discarding tackle and supplies. Days without of food dismissed any lingering thoughts of survival. Storms!
Paul decided to speak to the captives and the crew. He told them to take heart. God was in the storm watching over them. The would run ashore and be safe. After a fortnight in the storm, they run aground and as the ship beached on a reef, the sailors and prisoners alike swam to the shore of the Island of Malta. There the natives were kind to all the survivors. (Acts 27:13-28:6)
When we awake to find we are in the middle of the storm, a storm of illness, a storm of emotional discomfort, a storm of financial burdens, a storm of marital strife, a storm of wind and rain, any physical or figurative storm, it is difficult to see God in the storm. But rest assured, that although God may not have cause the storm, He is there beside you, walking with you, seeing you through, and being there to help put life back together.
“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. . . . The Lord is on my side as my Helper; . . . It is better to take refuge in the Lord. . . . It is better to take refuge in the Lord.” Psalm 118:5-9.