“You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown, where feet may fail,

And there I find you in the mystery, in ocean’s deep,

my faith will stand. And I will call upon your name and keep my eyes above the waves.”

Oceans by Hillsong United

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Paul turns the tables, the courtroom silenced. He wins his appeal to be tried before Caesar. We are near the end of our journey as Paul sets sail to Italy.

By this time Paul has traveled over 35,000 miles. He has been in three shipwrecks.

When the time came, we set sail for Italy. Paul and several other prisoners were placed in the custody of a Roman officer named Julius, a captain of the Imperial Regiment. ~Acts 27:1 NLT

They set sail, stopping in various ports. While docked at Sidon, Julius was kind to Paul and let him go ashore to visit with friends who could provide for his needs. Back on the sea, the winds began to howl. Strong headwinds made it difficult to stay on course.

Because of the storm the prisoners are put on board another ship. The wind was against them and soon they were in danger.

The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall, and Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it. “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on-shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.” ~Acts 9b-10 NLT

Paul’s warning went unheeded, they continued on as gail force winds batter the ship. Cargo was thrown overboard. The next day, some of the ship’s gear. Verse 20 says, “the storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and stars, until at last all hope was gone.” No one had eaten for days and Paul called the crew together saying:

“Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss. But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” ~Acts 27:21b-26 NLT

From that moment on, the atmosphere shifts, the crew begins to heed Paul’s advice. Paul convinces them to eat, as they had not touched food for two weeks. Telling them again, not a single hair on their heads will perish.

This happens:

Then he took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, and broke off a piece and ate it. ~Acts 27:35 NLT

A piece of my heart broke off with the bread, I’m crying ugly tears. Do you recognize these words?

The last supper, Jesus broke the bread and gave thanks.

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” ~Luke 22:19 NLT

Ann Voskamp, in her books 1000 Gifts and The Broken Way, said, “Thanksgiving always proceeds the miracle.”

“Thanksgiving always proceeds the miracle.”

All hope was lost.

Paul gives thanks in the storm.

A shipwreck.

Three months spent on an island, where Paul heals the sick.

A rescue.

At last Paul lands in Rome.

Greeted by brothers and sisters in Christ, he’s encouraged.

Paul was arrested, placed under house arrest, and continued to teach and preach The Gospel to all who came to his house.

For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him. ~Acts 28:31-31 NLT

Join me tomorrow for day thirty~one, Will You Take Action?, as we close in on the end of our Journey to Action.

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Coming next week: A Give Away! Ann Voskamp’s new book, The Broken Way. If you read 1000 Gifts, you are in for a treat! If not, you will be quickly beckoned in wanting more! 

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Gifts of Grace