Daily Devotional – Wednesday, August 4, 2021
“But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down.” (Acts 27:22, NLT)
I love a good lightning storm—with the whole sky lighting up followed by the rolling boom of thunder. However, not everyone feels the same way. My grandmother, my father’s mother, would panic whenever a storm blew up. Whereas I have always found myself in a place of relative safety during these storms, she experienced the devastation that can come with lightning when their home caught fire. Undoubtedly, the safety from which I have observed these storms has a lot to do with my comfort level. Would I be so appreciative if I found myself out in an open field during a storm…not at all! I derive much comfort from being able to watch a storm from the relative safety of my home—watching it, but not truly in danger from it.
But what of the storms we find ourselves thrust into the middle of—the ones that threaten to sink us? Paul found himself in the middle of a storm that had raged non-stop for two weeks. The sailors had done all they could think to do to keep the ship afloat—they had dropped the anchors, they had thrown some of the equipment overboard, they had even poured their cargo of grain into the sea; but they themselves were no closer to being saved than before. When the prospect that the ship would crash onto a sandbar became a real possibility, they attempted to board the lifeboat; they were still trusting a boat to keep them alive. But what had God told them through Paul? The ship will go down, but everyone will be saved. To a weathered sailor, this proclamation would have appeared as sheer nonsense. You do not survive a stormy sea without a boat…you sink…you drown!
The sailors trusted their lives to a ship destined for destruction; Paul trusted his life to a much more secure source—God. It is one thing to experience a stormy sea with confidence when you’ve got a boat…quite another when there is no boat. That’s when we are forced to trust God…entirely. It also serves as an opportunity for us to really challenge our notions of where our trust lies. Is it really God, or are we still hanging onto some semblance of self-sufficiency? Do we possess the same level of trust and peace when we find ourselves truly in danger or is our trust merely that of an observer? Do we remain calm to a point, but allow panic to set in when the boat is taken away? God wants us to know His peace in the storm, not just when we are watching it from a place of safety, but even as we are forced to watch our 'boats' sink.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!