The day I finally made it from Salamanca to Barcelona after spending 12 hours overnighting on a bus, I was met with a storm. This was just fine with me as I absolutely love storm clouds. Storm clouds plus a choppy ocean, feisty waves, salty wind, and warm sand in my toes...ah, a piece of heaven.
And then there were the sunny skies of Valencia down the eastern coast of Spain and the beauty of windy city, "Little Venice" or Aveiro, Portugal, on the opposite side of the peninsula. This part of Europe attracts millions of tourists each year to its stunning beaches and enticing climate.
“The ocean is a mighty harmonist.”
One of my favorite Bible events involves a shipwreck. In Acts 27, we read about the treacherous voyage from Myra in Lycia (Turkey) to Rome, Italy, in which the Apostle Paul was held as prisoner to await to be heard before Caesar. There were 276 people aboard ship to include sailors, prisoners, the centurion, as well as the captain and the pilot. The description of the voyage offers a vivid picture of how we may also face "storms" in our lives.
"The next day as we were being violently storm-tossed, they [presumably sailors under the authority of the pilot/captain and the majority on board] began to jettison the cargo; and on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned" (vv. 18-20).
The storm raged violently against them for two more weeks. Eventually, the ship struck a reef near land; everyone jumped overboard and safely made it to the beach by swimming or clinging to planks or other items from the ship.
There are some things
you learn best in calm,
and some in storm.
In this account, Paul remained full of hope and stood strongly on the vision he had received from an angel of God that all would be saved. During the trial, they were throwing a lot of things overboard to lighten their load -- at one point they even cut the ropes to the life boat. They felt desperate.
I've heard it said that true inner peace is not situational. Nor is it based on surroundings or the events going on. Many of us "abandon hope" during especially violent storms, but indeed that may be the first step toward ultimate surrender and dependency on God's authority and truth.
Are you in a storm at present? Are you exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually?
If so, can you jettison your fear overboard? Can you let all your "props" in life fall to the wayside? Can you ask God to help you to put your hope directly in Him and Him alone? Can you muster the courage and wherewithal to express gratitude to God for something? Try to eat a little bit to find strength and stamina. Be encouraged. Trust Him, perhaps like never before. Be the witness of His goodness.
the beach is just ahead.
God will lead you there.
Please shoot me an email about how you have or are weathering the storms of life. I would love to hear form you! Or please like my Start with a Grateful Heart page on Facebook and find me on Instagram where I post many pics of beautiful Midway, Ky., as well as the daring, 5 pound doggie named Rico the MorKY.
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