I read a story the other day about a Prisoner, a Doctor, and a ship. It went something like this:
A Prisoner and a Doctor set sail for Italy. They ran into some bad weather that made it difficult to stay on course. Finally, they were able to make it to an island where they ended up docking at Good Harbor.
Unfortunately, they had lost a lot of time and because of the season they knew that they would be running into stormy weather that would be too dangerous for sailing. However, the harbor was not a suitable place for them to stay for the winter. So…they set sail to find the next harbor.
They were tricked by a gentle southerly breeze, decided to weigh anchor, and set off for the next leg of their journey. Upon reaching open sea they were struck by a gale-force nor’easter wind. They lost complete control of the ship.
The next day after having been tossed to and fro by the storm, the Prisoner stood up to give everyone a message. He assured the passengers – including the Doctor – that not a single person would drown! As for the ship…it was doomed for destruction.
For 14 days the storm shook the boat and its 276 passengers. Finally at their wits end they spotted land at daybreak. They had no clue where they were, but it was land and that’s all that mattered.
Seeing a bay with a nice beach they headed the ship in its direction. Still a long ways from the beach the ship crashed into a reef. The passengers watched in horror as the ship began breaking up into pieces.
The passengers who could swim dove overboard – those who couldn’t swim grabbed onto planks. The good news: everyone made it to shore safely.*
As I read that story, I thought how our lives often parallel the lives of the Prisoner, the Doctor, and the ship.
It doesn’t matter what walk of life we come from we all are going to encounter storms in our lives. Some of our storms might be emotional…some might be physical…and some might be spiritual. The ships in our stories are our circumstances which carry us from one period of our lives to another period.
The above story from Acts 27 gives me hope. Even though the storms in my life might shake up my circumstances – to the point of my circumstances breaking apart – I know that God will make sure I make it safely to the shore.
* An excerpt paraphrased from Acts 27 (MSG)