Stormy weather with rain on the beachI have been in the middle of storms several times in my life. I remember as a young kid in 1973 standing in our yard looking up through the valley several miles away and seeing a tornado as it would break apart and dip down to the ground as it cut a destructive path through a little town in Kentucky called Mansfield. I can also recall several times taking shelter in the storm shelter my parents had built after that massive outbreak of tornados.  I am not a fearful of storm as I once was, but there have been some mega storms recently that really bring shock and awe to me. I can’t imagine being in the middle of the storms that hit Joplin, MO, Moore, OK or Tuscaloosa, AL. The scenes from the aftermath are absolutely devastating.

Paul was on a ship bound for Rome where he would stand trial for being a Christ follower. He had frustrated the Jews so much that they brought a case against him that include many false accusations. At one point in the trial, he felt that the only way to survive their vicious attacks was to appeal to Caesar, the Emperor in Rome. He was being shipped to Rome with a Centurion guard and a small battery of Roman soldiers guarding Paul and some of the other prisoners. Luke is giving the “play by play” account of the trip. Paul warns them not to sail because there’s a storm on the horizon but they sail anyway. They end of sailing into the path of a hurricane force type of storm called a Northeaster. They go into “survival mode”. Check this out…

20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
21 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. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 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.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” (Acts 27:20-26 NIV)

The account reminded me that in the midst of the storm, the Lord is still the Lord. I was also reminded that the storm is simply blocking my view of the sun. I was also reminded that God still speaks in the midst of the storm. He is Creator of all things and He can control the storms. He can also advise me in the middle of the storm. I have learned that I can’t do life on my on –even when the sun is shining, I need Him. I need Him every day and every hour to direct my steps. Storms remind me of how little power I have to do life without the Presence of God in my life. I simply can’t do life without Him!

Pressing On!

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