Sit-Reps From The Storm (2)
And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board. When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, "Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives." Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there. NKJV
Long time ago, seated in the sonar room of a Polaris boat, I regularly radioed the control room with a situation report (Sit-Rep) from the Sonar set I was operating at the time.
In our text for today, the ship had started the journey late already. The contrary winds had held them up even further. Even so, God in His goodness had brought them to ‘Fair Havens’, which was a good harbour to stay in, a safe harbour to wait in for it was obvious that the season of safe sailing was about to pass and the winter storm season would be upon them. Now was the time to wait.
Maybe girl friends in another place, family, perishable goods, messages to be delivered, doctors or friends to visit, for whatever reason the Captain and his crew did not want to stay in Fair Havens, but judging that they had enough time, decide to skip along to that other harbour to spend the winter in. Paul, warned his ‘friendly’ centurion about the perils of ‘chancing it’ now, but frankly, as Paul had no ‘salt on his shoulders’, the centurion took the council of the ship’s Captain instead and allowed the craft to put out to sea. After all, if the experienced owner of the ship was willing to put his personal property at risk, well surely all would be well.
Look here. Often times, despite our warnings, the ship we are inextricably attached to will set sail in the direction of the prophecied storm and with us reluctantly on board. You know what’s coming, but there will be nothing you can do about it but keep on praying. It’s as simple as that. If you’re on ‘The Flying Dutchman’ just keep on praying through.
Listen:-And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, "The will of the Lord be done." Acts 21:10-14 NKJV
Pray: -Father, when I am sailing into stormy situations, when the dark clouds and the seas roll toward me in threatening consummation, Father protect me and keep me strong. Keep my heart and ears open to You O Lord and mouth open to those that need to be saved. Amen.