Acts 28:6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
Reading the whole story of Paul’s journey from Caesarea to Rome it occurs to me that quite probably several of the soldiers in his guard were believers by the time they got to Rome. Not only did they essentially owe their lives to Paul after the shipwreck, they saw this miraculous sign and then the healing of all the islanders that followed. Thinking about it, they certainly allowed Paul and his party to do anything they wanted until they got to Rome! As far as the islanders here were concerned, I’m sure that Paul assured them he was not divine and instead pointed them to Christ, given what he did in Lystra, as recorded in Acts 14. We go through all sorts of things in life, but if we are yielded to God and flowing with His Spirit, He will use every one of them for blessing and for His glory. (Romans 8:28) We get anxious for no reason at all! I’m reminded of something I read a few years ago about a mother traveling with her young son, when the next flight they were to take was canceled for some reason. As they were walking to the van that was to take them to a hotel to wait for the next available flight, she was overheard saying to her son, “This, Son, is what we call an adventure.” Rather than being upset about changed schedules and the like, she was teaching her son to take life as it comes, roll with the punches, and enjoy the process. I think we all need to take that lesson!
This is appropriate for me right now, because all sorts of things are happening that are out of my control. We have a major typhoon headed our way, scheduled to hit early Monday morning. As a result, the medical center where I’m being treated has canceled all surgeries for Monday, including my skin graft, and I’ve been rescheduled for Wednesday the 23rd. That in turn means that I will be in the hospital on Sunday the 27th, and unable to preach. The phone call from my surgeon came in actually while I was teaching my first nursing school class of the term, so I had to cancel it (twice) and call her back, but the class itself went very well. Then in the afternoon an old friend (literally – he’s 85) came and installed a used air conditioner we were given in our house kitchen. (We already had one in the church kitchen.) We got in some really good visiting in the process, as I helped him in various ways. The air conditioner works beautifully, but the fellowship was even better. I really don’t know what all today will hold, though I have some ideas and some things I would like to happen, but the point in it all is to accept God’s schedule and delight in it, doing God’s will and not letting the devil steal my peace or joy at any point.
Father, thank You for this reminder. This is something You’ve been trying to teach me for a long time! I don’t remember how many years ago You told me, one November, to rest, relax, and rejoice. May I indeed do that, as an example to others and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!