[After battling a fierce storm for two weeks, Paul had the people on board the ship take nourishment.] When morning dawned, they didn't recognize the coastline, but they saw a bay with a beach and wondered if they could get to shore by running the ship aground. So they cut off the anchors and left them in the sea. Then they lowered the rudders, raised the foresail, and headed toward shore. But they hit a shoal and ran the ship aground too soon. The bow of the ship stuck fast, while the stern was repeatedly smashed by the force of the waves and began to break apart.
— Acts 27:39-41 NLT
We will see the miracle at the end of this terrifying experience for people on board this ship: Everyone's life was saved! The ship's captain and sailors and the Roman commanding officer and other soldiers all followed the directions of Paul and trusted in God's promises to Paul.
God doesn't promise Jesus' followers that they will be immune to storms. Life can be hard, challenging, disappointing, and exhausting. None of us will make it out of this life unchallenged or unscathed. As Jesus' followers, however, God has promised that we will never be abandoned* and that we will arrive safely home with Jesus when our storms are done.** Our job is to be faithful and help others find Jesus in the storm!
Father, thank you for the assurance that you, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are always with me — that I am never abandoned or left all alone. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for being God's presence within me, the Breath of God being with me every breath I take. Strengthen my faith in your presence and empower me to courageously face my future because I know you are with me and empower me. Thank you, O God, for always being near. In Jesus' name, I offer my adoration and praise for your abiding nearness. Amen.