I recently studied Acts chapter 27 and I was amazed at what God revealed to me about caregivers through this story of Paul. I always love to study this man of God for he was the most unlikely to have been chosen by God and I see myself in that same light. I wonder all the time why God would have chosen a woman from North Carolina whose only dream in life was to be an elementary school teacher to be a voice for caregivers all across the world. Are you like me and every wonder, “What was God thinking?” God chose all of us to do a specific and special thing in this life and once He reveals it we must embrace it and trust Him fully.
The way in which I connected with this story began when God called Paul into situations that never seemed to come easy for him. This is the point where the southern girl in me says, “Bless Paul’s heart!” Here he stands with a passion for Christ and for people to give their lives to Him through salvation, yet he once again finds himself in a terrible situation. He is sailing for Italy on the Adriatic Sea for he knows God has called him do so. That’s how our lives can be, too! God called me to ministry for caregivers but doors to speak and share what He has given me to share don’t always come very easily or from where I think are best. This is where our obedience comes into play and it becomes our decision to either follow where He says to go or refuse and miss awesome opportunities to serve Him and others. Many speaking engagements I was least excited about in the past turned out to be the very best and most influential to the ministry all because God chose them and lined them up instead of me!
In Acts 27:20 the Word tells us that, “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” I have felt that same way after days, months, or even years of praying for God to intervene in my raging storm with no visible results. I, too, have felt like giving up on the dream or vision that God had given me because of being in the dark about what His plan was for my life. Finally, Paul tells us that, “On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic[c] Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land.” Acts 27:27 I have been at this point as well where I felt that the storm was coming to an end and I could sense the end was in sight yet day after day what I had been praying still didn’t happen. This can become a very frustrating time for us as believers. We know God is always faithful for He has been in the past yet waiting for His perfect timing can be agonizing!
Paul and the others on board the ship finally get close to land but still not to their final destination when, “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, “in Acts 27:41. What? You mean after enduring and surviving the horrible storm for all that time they have gotten this close to the land and the ship runs aground? I would have been crying out at this point to the Lord for sure! In fact, I have done that so many times as a caregiver. I can remember my husband, Brian, having operation and procedure after another believing each one was going to be what would slow his heart rate and begin to heal him only to find that it was not a success and we had to try something else. Paul doesn’t stop in seeking what God has promised him and neither should we! I never gave up hope that my husband would be healed but at the same time I didn’t know how or when.
Paul told his fellow passengers they were to jump off and swim or either “were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely,” in Acts 27:44. I love it that Paul told them to get to their destination with whatever means they had. Even though their ship, which can be our life as we know it, had fallen apart, he wanted them to know that they could still make it with the pieces that were left. Caregivers are no different. When I became a caregiver my boat definitely broke into a million pieces and I can still remember days when it was hard to even wake up and face my situation. I have made it to shore over and over as the many storms of life have come upon me. God has never left me nor forsaken me and nor will He you.
Had Paul not kept his eyes on God’s promise everyone on the ship may have been lost but because he continued to trust, they were all saved. Paul did make it to the place God had promised and so will we! Amen! Praise the Lord Almighty! I am now in love with this story because it is real and applies directly to our lives as caregivers today. This is why I am so in love and stand amazed at God’s holy Word, the Bible. It is timeless and relevant in our world today just as it was in the days it was written. How precious we are that our God loves us so much. God went to the trouble of writing His promises down for us to read and re-read as a teaching tool and a weapon in our defense for a life full of storms.
By Jessica Daly | Published author and founder of My Daly Outreach Ministries | Website