When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. (Acts 27:20 NIV)
This verse is tucked away in Acts. Paul, a prisoner, was being transported when the storm hit. It wasn’t just a little storm, the Bible says, “a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster” came upon them. They couldn’t sail into the storm. Instead, the storm pushed them around. It was relentless and eventually, after many days, the crew lost hope.
Hope is an interesting concept. If you have it, your outlook is bright. You can withstand anything knowing whatever circumstances you are in will end. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you can just hold on, everything will be alright, eventually. But the men on this ship had lost hope. They gave in to the fear of death. They assumed all was lost, until Paul spoke up.
Paul stood before them reminding them of his previous admonition to stay put. He told them not to sail but they didn’t listen. They sailed for a living. They knew what to look for. They had no idea the storm was coming and if they did, they didn’t expect it to be so severe. Now Paul stood again to speak, and they listened.
Time and time again, God speaks to His people and they don’t listen. Their arrogance keeps them from hearing and obeying. They finally had ears to hear once they were out of options. I have found myself doing the same thing in life. I am presented with a circumstance and rather than ask God for direction, I exhaust every other avenue. I come up with option after option to solve this problem. It isn’t until I realize I’ve done everything I can think of, do I seek wisdom from God.
Certainly, God gave us a brain to use. He gave us intelligence. But ultimately, He wants us to allow Him into every area of our lives. He wants to be involved but we forget to listen. I’m thankful He never loses hope in us. He keeps at it teaching and guiding and blessing. He never gives up!