Paul finds himself in a little bit of a predicament in Acts 27.
He’s imprisoned on a ship, but being told by God the ship is going to crash. Wow, that’s awesome, isn’t it? God lets you know you are going to crash, and there is nothing you can do about it. Can you imagine the fear? Can you feel the tension rising?
Think about it for a moment. What if you were getting on a bus and God told you that this bus is going to crash, but you will live through it? Would you still want on the bus? Yet, He tells you “Don’t worry, you still have an appointment.”
Paul was told not to sail out of Crete but to wait out the storm on the island. Yet, it was not Paul who could make the decision to sail. He was a prisoner to someone else’s choices. The centurion listened to the wrong voice! “Nevertheless, the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul” (Acts 27:11). Paul had heard from God but was bound to someone else. God was going to protect his life, but He doesn’t keep him from the shipwreck or stop the storm.
However, God will protect you. But He doesn’t always keep you from the storm. There are things in life you cannot circumvent. You have to go through them! There will be times in your life when you are doing the right things the right way, but you still land in a storm because of someone else.
What do you do when life deals you a mess on somebody else’s behalf? What do you do when you know to do the will of God, but somebody else is messing things up? Where do you turn?
Here are five things you can do when you are thrust into a storm that has not necessarily come about because of your decisions:
1. You tell what you feel to that person. “...Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, ‘Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss’” (Acts 27:21).
2. Keep sailing. “And when the ship was caught ...we let her drive.”
3. You throw out the anchor because the anchor of the gospel hold (Acts 27:15). “...they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day” (Acts 27:29).
4. Lighten the load. “And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship ...” (Acts 27:38)
5. You hold on, even if it is only to broken pieces. “...some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land” (Acts 27:44).
Crutchfield is the pastor of Life United Pentecostal Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.