This chapter is too good to put down. There is action in the form of a terrible storm. There is heated dialogue among several hundred folks on a sinking ship . And there is a very bold man named Paul. When I read the story I feel like someone might have reminded Paul that he was indeed a prisoner. But Paul is just Paul. He gives sailing advice (and then reminds people at a less than opportune time that they should have taken his advice.) Paul also gives dietary and health advice. And Paul talked about faith. Paul never gave up, and for good reason. In the midst of all the turmoil, he was being reassured by God that he would make it to Rome.
For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 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.’ Acts 27:23-24
There were lots of reasons in this chapter for Paul and the other travelers to have thrown in the towel. But Paul was assured by his faith and another night visit by an angel that he needed to hold on to see what God had in store.
I once saw a little sign that said, “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” We might add “say your prayers and wait and see what the night will bring.”
God, help me to look, listen, and believe as you give me faith, and hope, and perseverance. And, if you would like, I could do with an angel’s visit. Amen.