By Dr. Dianne Coflin, Co-Pastor, River of Life Church
Have you ever felt you were drifting in life? Maybe you are not sure of your direction not confident in your decision making. Possibly you thought life was heading one way and then you suddenly find yourself caught in a mirage of circumstances that has placed you “adrift” not even from your own decision making but from others! It’s easy to fall victim to such a plight and feel helpless to get back on course, especially when drifting in your circumstances you feel you’ve lost control. Many are feeling this way in our nation, and personally in their lives. Our nation has been turned upside down by a pandemic that suddenly arrived and unfortunately caused havoc in people’s lives, jobs, families, and health. We are faced with having to trust officials, who at times, were very unsure of their footing and how to direct a resolution of plans to keep our country moving forward.
The apostle Paul in Acts 27 faced a very similar set of circumstances. Maybe it wasn’t a pandemic, but an extraordinary set of circumstances that left him and two hundred and seventy six men in great peril. He was aboard a ship that was adrift at sea as a violent storm had driven them off course and the wind and sea were dangerously tossing them about. There was no visible sign of the sun or stars for many, many days as the storm kept raging, and eventually they lost all hope of being saved. They had no control over their outcome, remaining in continual suspense and their drifting at sea was leading them to further destruction.
When life causes you to feel adrift, with no end in sight, emotions become fearful and anxious, oftentimes leading you to make very serious decisions that are devastating. Maybe that’s how you feel right now. Are you contemplating a decision that would be a disaster for you and everyone else because you are motivated by hopelessness?
Paul, while on this voyage with many sailors, found that they were ready to jump ship and their decision would ultimately cost them their lives. He began to warn them in the midst of this horrific storm that their decision would only bring them more destruction. How could Paul know this?
Why was Paul so decisive about proper direction in the midst of being adrift? Why was he able to take charge of this seemingly impossible situation and bring hope to 276 desperate, starving, fearful sailors? How could he bring such clarity of thought as he did when he said (verse 22) “there would be no loss of life among them.” It was because Paul had heard from the Lord!! This tells me that when we feel adrift, no matter how hard the circumstances, we can look to God and listen for His direction. He can and will speak in the most impossible situations. We need but to ask, believing that He will answer.
Paul contended for God’s wisdom, he prayed in intercession (appealing to God on behalf of others) and worshipped God despite how he felt in this life-threatening storm. I am reminded that God never leaves us, nor forsakes us and nothing can separate us from His love! Not only did God speak, but He sent an angel to Paul to strengthen him, accompanied with an incredible gift of faith to encourage everyone on this ship that their lives would be saved, even though the ship would be lost, and they would end up on an island. This word of the Lord was delivered with such anointing that all listened and took courage. Can you imagine how powerful the word of the Lord was that impacted those men?
I want to encourage you today that no matter how difficult your circumstances are, no matter what you are facing that seems insurmountable, bringing you the feeling of loss of control and the odds seem against you, take Courage, seize it this very moment. God will impart to you help no matter how far you have drifted.
You need but to call upon Him in time of trouble, trusting him to answer. Then hold on for His answer and help will arrive! You can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear,”(Heb.13:6). Take heart today my friend, all is not lost as you think. Your heavenly Father knows what you have need of even before you ask! He has a supernatural impartation of strength to give you to see you through!
In conclusion, Paul’s life was spared, and so were the 276 men that were with him. They did land on an island where they found incredible favor with the people, miracles happened, and God received all the glory!! What a great ending to a horrible journey!!
I wonder what would have happened if Paul had not called on the Lord? Food for thought!!!
Dr. Dianne Coflin – Co-Pastor River of Life Church
410 East Chapman Rd., Lutz, Florida
We would love to have you visit us!! Our services are Sunday morning at 10:30, and Wednesday at 7:00. Childcare is provided, along with children’s ministry! Look forward to meeting you!! (813) 949-9931 www.roltampa.org