Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stay in the boat

From Acts 27 : 27-44
27On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriaticb]">[b] Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feetc]">[c] deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feetd]">[d] deep. 29Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved." 32So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.

33Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. "For the last fourteen days," he said, "you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven't eaten anything. 34Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head." 35After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.

39When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.

42The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43But the centurion wanted to spare Paul's life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.

A month or so ago God placed these verses on my heart. I wasn't sure what to do with them but I know it's important so I wrote on a piece of paper..."STAY IN THE BOAT". So for a month now I've had this 8X10 piece of paper on the fridge with these letters scrawled out over the whole paper. Every time I pass the fridge I think in my head... 'aye aye captain!'. During my time in the Navy I was on an aircraft carrier. I can remember many storms we went through at sea but there is one time that especially comes to my mind. We were out in the South Pacific days from land and there was a special occasion. We had 2 typhoons back to back that we went through. If you've ever seen Top Gun then you know how huge an aircraft carrier is. Well, waves were crashing over the flight deck which was about 50 feet over the water. These storms lasted a good two days until we finally reached stability again. It seemed like forever and lots of people got sea sick. I can't imagine what Paul and the men aboard this ship felt like.

The most important thing to remember when you are in a storm out on the water is to STAY IN THE BOAT! The same thing applies to storms in life. Sometimes we expect the storm to blow over quickly and it seems to end up like a huge rain cloud following you everywhere. I can imagine that's how everyone in the boat with Paul felt. So what did Paul do? He stayed in the boat and prayed. He urged the men to eat to sustain themselves. I think this means that we have to maintain ourselves for if we don't then when the storm subsides it won't matter. Continue to pray and seek God's protection (which is your boat).

When the storm rages, when the rain comes, when the wind blows, when enemies assail you, when foes come upon you, when dark clouds gather around you, whatever you do, stay in the boat!

Don't quit in the storm. STAY IN THE BOAT!

Don't give up in the storm. STAY IN THE BOAT!

Don't jump overboard when the first wind slaps you in the face. STAY IN THE BOAT!

Don't abandon your life vest, don't lower your sail, don't cut off your engines, don't participate in the mutiny of self-destruction. STAY IN THE BOAT!


  1. That is very encouraging. I had to counsel a friend last night who is being kicked out of her house. She kept asking me, "how bad is it going to get before things turn around?"

    You are right, all she has to do is stay in the boat. At some point the waves will subside and she will see God's awesome plan for her good and His glory.

  2. I think the whole self mutiny thing is sometimes hard to overcome. I'm not really commenting on your friend because I have no idea who they are but I'm commenting on friends I have. They want to use God like a lifeguard. Even though they can't swim they keep jumping off the high dive and then complaining that God's not saving them fast enough only to climb the steps again before he's even dried off and right back in again. I know I've prayed more than once... 'God save me from myself'.

  3. Personally, I think she is running from God. I continue to tell her that He will do whatever He has to in order to draw His children to Himself. She needs to stop running. We all know what happened when Jonah ran from God's call.