|Photographer Ian Britton|
"It was some years ago, but I remember when they closed our local airport. Yeah, there was a violent storm at Newark airport, and thousands of people had their plans suddenly changed. Storms have a way of doing that. Did you ever notice that? There's a snow storm, for example, and schools and businesses oh, they all had their plans made for the day, and suddenly all those plans are out the window. Meetings that had to be today are amazingly rescheduled. Planes and ships are diverted or blown off course. You see, a storm is a classic embodiment of that familiar phrase, "Due to circumstances beyond our control..." Maybe you're in the middle of a storm right now. Your life, your plans are being blown around, and it seems like everything is out of control. I've got good news for you today.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is going to come from Acts 27 . It's about surprises in the storm. Now, I don't know where your storm is right now, but maybe there's something that is just blowing your life out of control. By the way, if you're not in a storm, well just stay tuned; you'll have yours pretty soon. That's just the way life is. You're just waiting and yours is on the way, because we all get them. Now maybe in your life right now things are just suddenly out of control financially or at work. Or there's a family situation that you just can't seem to change. Or it could be that your health has suddenly become turbulent. Somehow there's an out-of-control time in your life. Well, you'll be able to relate to Paul's storm in Acts 27.
What was happening was that he was being taken by Roman soldiers on a grain ship from Israel to Rome. They had a lot of water to cross to get from where Israel is and to cross the ocean and to get over to Italy where they needed to be, and in the middle of all this they encountered a terrible storm that lasted for fourteen days. Hurricane strength, we're told in Acts 27:20 , "When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved."
Now, if you've ever felt like all your points of reference were gone, you couldn't see the sun, the moon, the stars—all the things you usually count on, the storm was that bad. The things you were able to hang on to before, they're not there. Well, maybe you're there right now, and you know what, it is easy to give up hope. Well the outcome of the story you need to take note of. It says, "Everyone reached land in safety." They were blown into the rocks after two weeks, but it says they were on an island. And in chapter 28 we found out the island was called Malta. Do you know where Malta is? It's on the southern coast of Italy.
It's right where they had been heading all the time. Oh, they'd been out of control for two weeks or so it seemed, but the whole time they had been out of control they had been right on course and so are you. Nahum 1:3 says, "The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and the storm."
Now it may feel like you're either going nowhere right now or you're on the verge of disaster; maybe on the verge of being blown on the rocks. But remember, the surprise in the storm is this: that God uses these out-of-control times. He uses them to blow His children right where they were supposed to go all along. I know it feels like your life is out of control, but you know what? You're really right on course."
A Word With You - Ron Hutchcraft