We had had difficult sailing to Fair Havens, and once there, Paul advised against sailing further. It was, after all, the dangerous time of the year to sail. However, others said that Fair Havens was not a good port to winter in, and when a southerly wind blew softly, we set out to sea.
Then, the wildest of storms, an Euroclydon, broke upon us. It battered us with such fury that we threw our cargo overboard. On the third day, we threw the ship’s tack overboard with our own hands. Many days passed and relentlessly we were tossed upon huge waves driven by the cyclonic northeast wind. We did not eat. We saw no sun. No moon. We couldn’t chart a course. We had no control. We could do nothing. The sea raged, fear gripped us, and we gave up all hope of being saved.
But then Paul stood in our midst and told us that an angel of God had stood beside him during the night. He told us that the angel spoke, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.”
Paul’s words kindled my hope. He spoke to us with such confidence, “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. … However, we must run aground … Not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” Paul told us what to do and we did it.
And though our ship broke up and all was a total loss, every single person made it to shore, even those who could not swim. Truly, Paul’s God saved us!
–A First Century Sailor
* * *Today, no matter the tempestuous wind that drives against you, do not be afraid. Take heart! Let faith, which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… Let faith fill your being as you hold fast to the word you have received from God, creator of the heavens and earth. Speak aloud in faith, “I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”
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