After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” Acts 27:21-26
Reading through this chapter of Acts, it is not hard to imagine the fear the sailors must have felt. Here they were, on a ship, much too late in the travel season, battered for weeks in a terrible storm, watching as everything is sent overboard, including food needed for survival. It is the strength of Paul’s faith that brings the travelers safely to shore.
Each day as I watch and listen to the news that seems to be heavy in adversity and tragedy I sometimes become uneasy of the future. I think this verse is another one to put up on my wall to remind me to take courage and to have faith.
Dear Lord, Help us to take courage and remember that you are here for us in a world of adversity and disaster. Help us to take courage and remember that it is also a world of joy and delight and no matter what, you are there to offer us grace and love.