I read about Paul’s voyage to Rome and thought of the past decisions we regret or maybe even mourn. Paul had stopped in a place called Fair Havens and while there, the season for sailing ended, making an attempt at sailing dangerous. Paul advised the soldier in charge not to go, predicting tragedy, but the ship’s captain/owner was also weighing in, and pushed until the decision was made to set out. Days and days of storm followed. It was so fierce, they couldn’t steer the ship. When they’d given up hope of surviving, Paul said:
“…you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Fair Havens—you would have avoided all this injury and loss! But cheer up! Not one of us will lose our lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul—for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God has granted your request and will save the lives of all those sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God! It will be just as he said!” Acts 27:21-25
There were 276 people aboard and though the boat broke into pieces, not a person died. It was undeniably miraculous for everyone to survive and demonstrated Godde’s predisposition to save, even when a warning was ignored.
Sometimes we’ll choose the best option (which may still be full of trouble) and sometimes we won’t. Often, either way, a storm will follow, but I pray no soul is lost.
From where I sit, I see my past decisions and understand why I made them. I can also see heartbreak they led to. Maybe you’re at a crossroads where a decision is necessary and you feel unsure, but you still have to move. The unknown makes me want to freeze—to stomp my foot until Godde sends a message ruling out an option. Why can’t She just write it in the sky or whisper it in my ear? Maybe I’m the only one obsessed with me getting it “right.” Sometimes we choose the best option (which may still be full of trouble) and sometimes we don’t. Either way, a storm often follows, but I pray no soul is lost.
It seems a lot to ask, but Godde so enjoys saving. Her messenger announced to Paul, “God has granted you all those who sail with you,” and it took a lot to make that so, since the protocol was to kill prisoners rather than risk their escape. What lengths will Godde go to keep the people we love through the storms? I don’t know, but I’m prepared to be dazzled.