Acts 27:27–38 (ESV)
The Storm at Sea
When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms. A little farther on they took a sounding again and found
fifteen fathoms. 29 And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship’s boat into the sea under pretense
of laying out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go.
33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For
it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all were encouraged and
ate some food themselves. 37 (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.) 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
They have been driven by the storm
for fourteen days. I’m sure they are wondering when will the storm quit playing with them and just swallow them up? They take soundings which indicate that they are getting closer to land, or at least they are getting into more shallow.
They know that they are going to run aground soon. Running aground with all the waves from the storm and all the rocks, they know that they will probably be bashed to pieces and you can’t really swim in surging storm waves. They try to slow
down the boat by lowering the anchors and they resort to knee-mail by praying for the day to come. Some try to sneak off the boat by using the ship’s boat, but Paul tells them they will die if they use those. The centurion and soldiers believed
Pau and cut away the ropes and let the ship’s boat go. Paul knows that they will need strength and energy, so he encourages them to eat. They eat after Paul gives thanks to the Lord. They dump the grain overboard after they have
eaten. What lies ahead? The day is just beginning.
I pray: O Lord, help me to give thanks even in the face of death. Help me to be faithful unto the end. Give me strength to believe,
even when I am scared and don’t know what to believe. Amen.