[From December 28, 2015]
"And so it was that all were brought safely to land."
One sentence. A simple comment. Actually, a statement. The kind we make all the time. And yet, filled with such depth of faith. Paul is being transported form Caesarea to Rome. That seemingly simple statement sounds so nonchalant. And yet the reality is incredible.
Fourteen weeks at sea. Two ships. Numerous storms. Jettisoning cargo. Fear of death. Potential escape thwarted. Almost killed by the guards. Their own "last supper" type meal. Shipwrecked. Swimming to shore. Incredible journey! It's the stuff entire movies are made of. And Paul concludes by saying, "And so it was that all were brought safely to land." Wow. What a perspective!
If you would have asked anyone on that ship with Paul, at various stages of their journey, how they were feeling or what was taking place, I'm guessing they would NOT have said, "We're moving toward safety." Nope. Panic... fear... uncertainty... discouragement, yet. But moving towards safety? Not in the least.
But Paul had a different perspective. Granted, Acts was penned some time AFTER the events took place. So time helped grant him some wisdom. Nonetheless, this speaks volumes to me. Oftentimes when I'm in the midst of a challenging or difficult situation, I focus on the negative (don't we all?). Or at least on the obstacles in my way. But this challenged me to not be so quick to rush to judgment. Paul looked at the bigger picture: GOD WAS BRINGING THEM TO SAFETY! It didn't look like that most of the stages along the way. But it was!
Sometimes we need to take a step back from the situation we're in and ask the question: What is God doing through all of this? We need a new perspective. A holy vision. Maybe we can't see it "in the moment." But if we withhold judgment, we might just be surprised at what we find.
PRAYER: Lord, give me a bigger vision. Help me to see a fraction of how You see what I'm going through. Keep me from rushing quickly to judgment. Instead, let me put my hope and trust in You. For I know that You are working for good in my life and in the world! AMEN.