The Winds Were Against Us

DSC_9443
Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan with the winds blowing during winter

 

Acts 27: Putting out to sea from there, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us.[1]

There are and will be times in life when it will seem as though the, “Winds are against us…”  These are the words of Luke as he describes Paul’s journey to Rome.  Now, near the end of his career in ministry, Paul has been placed on a ship under Roman guard for a hearing before Caesar.  This was Paul’s right as a citizen of Roman.  It will be his last defense as he fights for his freedom and his life.  While on board a rather large ship with 276 passengers, most of whom were prisoners like Paul, a strong wind blows and threatens to capsize the boat.  The captain of the ship considers pulling into port in a city called, Fair Havens, but chooses not.

They continue on a path to disaster where the boat is set adrift and ultimately splits apart.  Paul and the prisoners are somehow saved and finally he is placed on another boat set for Rome.

There is a narrow part of this story that I want to focus on for today: “Because the winds were against us” (vs. 4) Because the winds were set against the boat carrying Paul, the captain choose the southern route around the island of Crete.  The captain was using his best judgement in facing the wind.  Next, the boat comes to a port called, “Fair Havens”, but the captain unwisely chose to press on into the wind.  Tomorrow, I plan to write a blog post on “Fair Havens.”  My question in chapter 27 of Acts is why would the captain of the ship press on in the face of strong winds when he had an option to dock at a city called, “Fair Havens?”

In each of our lives there will be days when it will seem like the “Winds are against us.”  Death and disease can make you feel like the “winds are against you.”  Financial ruin and personal failure can seem like the “Winds are against you.”  Divorce and desertion can leave a person feeling like the “Winds are against you.”

Yet, through it all, the Lord has promised to stand by us, in season and out of season, when the wind is blowing and when the wind is calm.  My encouragement to you today is that you find the rock of Jesus, lean on the rock of Jesus, hold on to the rock of Jesus.  I have never felt forsaken or forgotten by God.  While there have been times when I wondered about the intention and purpose of God, I have never felt forgotten.  For those who would like to hear more about this text, I will be preaching on it today at noon EST and it will be streamed live on Ustream.com (Plymouth United Church of Christ Detroit)

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about the captain of the ship trying to dodge the “winds that were against them.”?
  2. If you put yourself into the mindset of Paul, what do you think he thought about sailing past “Fair Havens”?
  3. When have you felt like the “winds were against you?”

Prayer: 

Lord, be my rock, sword and shield as I travel with the “winds against me.”  Lord, I need your encouragement.  Lord, I need your strength.  Lord, I need your presence.  Bless me now.  Keep me calm.  Keep me focused. Enhance my faith.  Endow me with your love.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers, Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ac 27:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.