The Transforming Grace Of Goodness
Paul was on a prison ship being taken to Rome when a huge storm caught them and was about to destroy the ship. Paul had been warned in the Spirit that disaster awaited them if they continued on their journey and he had urged them to stay in Crete, but they ventured out into the open seas and were caught in a terrible storm.
They had struggled against the storm and sea for a long time until finally the sailors gave up any hope of survival. Then an angel appeared to Paul and told him that the ship would be lost but not one life would be lost if they stayed with the ship.
After fourteen days Paul brought the men together and told them to eat. That is where our passage for today begins. Paul saw the necessity for the men to come together to eat and pray. He saw they were exhausted and needed a little rest. He also knew eating would renew their strength and their courage would return.
There are many lessons for us in this story. One of those lessons is that when times get tough we must persevere, keep hope and not abandon ship. That is one of the reasons we need each other. We need someone among us who will encourage us to continue pushing toward the goal and who will realize when we need to replenish our energy and courage.
Another lesson to learn is we need the fellowship of people who are in the same boat as we are. We need times of setting down with others in the faith and hear what God is doing in them and through them. We need to share where we are on our journey.
I was once in a communion service with a group of ministers. After receiving the bread and the juice I was suddenly struck with a new identity with those brethren. Together we shared the elements of the same body. We were now all members of the same body.
Prayer: Sometimes I become impatient in trials and want to do things my way. Grant me the grace to trust you and others. Amen.
Message: that when times get tough we must persevere, keep hope and not abandon ship. That is one of the reasons we need each other. We need someone among us who will encourage us to continue pushing toward the goal and who will realize when we need to replenish our energy and courage.
Affirmation: By the grace of God I will not abandon ship when the going gets rough and I will encourage the others in the ship with me.
Reflection: This story of Paul and the ship carries several applications we should reflect on. First is the lesson of staying with the ship, or whatever endeavor you are in; persevere to the end with hope. Second is the message of keeping the “tam” of shipmates together; don’t allow difficulty to cause separation. A third lesson is listen to the voice of the Lord; he will bring you through if you hold on.