Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved’
A tempestuous wind left the navigators completely disoriented in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. In order to control the situation, they struck sail, secured the lifeboats and threw to the water a great amount of belongings to lighten the weight. Neither the experts’ skills nor the sailmen’s determination were enough to control the tempest. They finally resigned themselves to the fact that they were hopelessly lost and were about to die. Try spent a few days in darkness, and the despair was so deep that they could not eat. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul urged the sailors to trust in God and to be of good spirits. How is it possible to be in good spirits when apparently everything goes to ruins? «For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ » (vv. 23, 24). The storm continued and the sea was still raging, but the hope that God would fulfill His promise of saving them gave courage and strength to those who were about to be shipwrecked. Thus, they quit fasting and waited in the ship until the ship ran aground.
In a figurative sense, we are also passing through different storms. There are great difficulties that take us by surprise and, even if we try to deal with them, our efforts are insufficient. «The expertise of the professionals is not enough to keep us calm and relaxed. Sometimes, discouragement makes the situation worse and despair reduces the desire to satisfy even the needs: sleep does not come easy and food takes second place. Even so, it is possible to recover our strength and regain courage, with the confidence that God will bring salvation. «So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong» (Zech. 8:13), says the Lord. Even if the storm lasts longer than expected, be courageous! Do not be afraid! You have a promise of salvation that will help you face your trials.
The ship’s crew had to remain aboard for this promise to be fulfilled. For you and for me, this ship is Christ. The Lord said, «Abide in Me. . . . Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love» (John 15:4, 9, 10).
Are you passing through a storm? Be courageous! God promised your salvation. Meanwhile, remain in Christ and keep His commandments since this is the best way to abide in His love.