Darkness came with the setting sun. The rain came down in sheets. The town festival started the next day. I was the new young pastor in town of Bradley, Arkansas. The town’s “Governor Conway Days” (the first Governor of Arkansas is buried at Bradley) director charged me with placing the arriving vendors in their designated places.
One vendor parked his small camper in the right spot next to the pole with electrical outlets in metal boxes. I stood outside the camper in the pouring rain, armed only with a raincoat and flashlight. The camper’s owner inside the dry camper motioned for me to plug the campers’ electrical cord in.
I am standing in water in a pouring rain. I envisioned electrocution on the spot! I thought, “Let them do it!” and “No way am I going to risk my life!”
But I prayed for safety, reaffirmed my salvation was secure, and I thrust the plug in. No bolt of lightning went through my body, lights came on in the little camper, the owners smiled gratefully, and I went to my next vendor.
Driven by gale force winds, the one hundred foot long grain ship lunged into the cove, sticking on a sand bar. Waves began breaking the ship apart. Everything was lost except the 276 people on board who made it ashore on planks of wood.
In the Bible, Acts 27, Luke spends forty-four verses describing the shipwreck! Why would the brief New Testament contain such a lengthy story about a shipwreck? Couldn’t he have just said their ship crashed and then given the moral of the story?
Vivid stories live bright in our minds. I just told you one of mine. Luke tells a harrowing experience of his and the apostle Paul. You have stories too. Stories often teach us and sometimes encapsulate how our life changed in that moment.
Read Acts 27-28, it’s a great story. What did I learn from my story and Luke’s story?
One, God is always in charge. No matter how bad life gets, God is still Lord and can be trusted.
Two, God is always personal, he is concerned about me and you no matter what our circumstances may be saying to us.
Three, God is powerful. He can deliver me in a rainstorm and 276 people in a shipwreck.
And four, God has a purpose for our lives. Here I am forty years later still pastoring and preaching. Luke and Paul went on to Rome and the gospel of Jesus Christ penetrated even the house of Caesar.
We are not here by some evolutional accident. We will stand before our Creator and explain what we did with His Son Jesus Christ. What will be your story?
Worship with us this Sunday at 9am. Find messages at BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media.” Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity.