When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land…And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. Acts 27:27,29
In Jesus’s and Paul’s days, the navigating tools were crude in comparison to the electronics we have today. In the middle of the night, out on an open sea, they couldn’t see a thing. They had to look to the heavens to get their bearings and some sense of direction. The sailors’ expertise in their craft and maybe a gut instinct told them they may be dashed onto the reefs, so they dropped four anchors and waited, praying for daylight to come and help them see where they were.
Can you see the analogy? When darkness surrounds us and we cannot see where we are going in life, we need to also look to Heaven for direction. And while we await the answer, the dawn so to speak when things are clearer, we need to anchor ourselves and pray. To go on blinded by the unknown would be foolhardy.
What four anchors do we have to keep us steady during the rough and tumble of the night? We have faith, hope, past encounters and God’s Word. Our faith that God keeps His promises set forth in His Word gives us hope. That hope and faith is assured when we see how God has guided us and others in the past. Whatever rocks or reefs are out there that may dash our dreams, we can say firm in the knowledge that God is with us and can see what we do not, and knows what we cannot. After all, He is the one who made it all, isn’t He?
Paul believed he would make it to his destination, which was Rome. He trusted God would get him there no matter what because God had told Paul that was where He was sending him. Paul did not know how he’d get there or what would happen along the way. He trusted and had faith. God had led him in the past, He ‘d continue to do so. Paul believed God’s Word, remembered what He had done for him in the past, had hope the God would protect and guide him, and the faith that it would all turn out to God’s glory.
Heavenly Lord, guide us through the calms and storms of our lives. When we cannot see things clearly, let us hold firm to our faith, confirm our hope in You, trust the promises of your Word and recall the past examples as proof of Your love towards us. Give us direction when we pray and the peace to know that You will be right beside us. Amen.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave at sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6