The account of Paul’s journey to Rome in Acts 27 and 28, gives us a brief glimpse behind the curtain into the heart and mind of God.
You may be familiar with the story. The ship sails too late and the wind is not with them. Paul warns them not to go on, telling them that the journey will end in disaster but they ignore him. Instead of wintering in Crete, they go on and are caught in a Euroclydon. A cyclone from the northeast.
For days they are caught in the tempest. They begin throwing cargo and the food they needed for the journey overboard to lighten their load. Just when they feel all is lost, Paul stands up and says:
“Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 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.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”
Clearly, it was God’s will that Paul appear before Caesar in Rome. But then Paul adds one other little interesting detail in verse 26:
“However, we must run aground on a certain island.”
Not just any island. The island of Malta.
You see there was a man on that island named Publius and his father was dying. Paul healed his father, and many others on the island who came to him with various diseases.
Do you see the heart of God here? Do you see the great and powerful mercy and grace of our loving Father?
God had a Kingdom-level purpose. Paul was to go to Rome. But God also saw the need of one man. Publius’ father.
The captain of the ship made a bad decision that could have resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives, including Paul’s. But God “worked” all the things that happened as a result of the captain’s decision for good.
Friend, your life may be a shipwreck right now. You may be suffering, scared, and facing a tempest. But none of that changes the truth that God has a purpose for you. None of that changes the truth of Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
So don’t lose heart and don’t jump ship. He is able and He is faithful.