In this way everyone reached land safely. Acts 27:42 (Acts 27:27-42)
On tha fourteenth night tha great storm still drove tha battered ship acrosss tha Adriatic Sea. Near ’bout midnight some sailors sensed they whar approaching land. Ter confirm thar hunch they took soundings and found that tha water was ah hundred and twenty feet deep ‘neath tha ship’s keel. Ah short time later they took soundings agin and discovered it whar only ninety feet deep.
Fearing they would be dashed against tha rocks, they dropped four anchors from tha stern and prayed fer daylight. Or maybe they prayed ’till daylight, fer praying fer tha sun ter come sooner than it be fixed by tha heavens be ah tall order.
Pretending they whar going ter lower some anchors from tha bow — though in secret they be attempting ter escape from tha ship —tha sailors let down tha lifeboat. Jest then Saul Paul warned tha centurion and other soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” Because of Saul Paul’s words tha soldiers cut away tha ropes that held tha lifeboat and let it drift away. Now all had no choice but ter stay with tha ship.
This be tha way of Skip, sometimes. In order fer us ter put all our trust in him, he ‘ill force us ter let go of ever source of hope ‘cept him. All our wealth, health, friends, anything we might rely on other than him, he ‘ill cut away. Saul Paul had warned that Skipper promised ter preserve all souls aboard even though tha ship and cargo would be lost. That should ‘ave been comfert enough fer ’em.
Only sometimes we also want jest one more thing ‘cept Skip and his Son. When this urge arrises, ya kin be sure yer faith be weak fer tha task ahead. This be tha time ter pray, “Lord, I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Ah little bit be fer dawn Saul Paul urged all ter eat. “For the last fourteen days you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.”
After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks ter Skipper in front of ’em. Then he broke tha bread and began ter eat. Think on this a wee little bit: right in tha midst of a great storm and after many days of trials and torment, Saul Paul paused ter give thanks ter Skipper fer provision and tha protection they enjoyed. In life we might wish our circumstances whar different, only know this: if Skip and his Son be standing watch with ya, then that be comfert enough fer tha moment.
Because of Saul Paul’s prayer and his calm appearance, all whar encouraged and ate some food. Altogether there were 276 souls aboard. When they finished eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened tha ship by throwing tha grain in ter tha sea. At last tha crew got tha message Saul Paul had spake about day after day: fellers and lasses doth not live by grain and bread alone but on ever word of Skipper.
In Loving John’s Revelation of tha Messiah he seen this:
There before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (Revelation 19:11-13)
Our very life be in tha Son, Skipper’s boy. He alone is our provision and his words be true fer ever and ever.
When tha sun come up, they seen ah bay with ah sandy beach. Taking ah last bit of courage they cut loose tha anchors, untied tha ropes holding tha rudders, and hoisted tha foresail. With tha wind at thar backs they made fer tha beach. Only fer they could reach tha bay, tha ship struck ah sandbar and ran aground. With its bow stuck fast and pounding waves breaking agin tha stern and ripping it ter pieces, it all appeared what lost. In order ter prevent tha prisoners from swimming away and escaping, soldiers drew swords ter kill ’em.
Only ah centurion wanted ter spare Saul Paul’s life so tha chap kept tha soldiers from carrying out thar devilish plan. Tha centurion ordered those who could swim ter jump overboard first and get ter land. Tha rest were ter grab ah plank or one of tha other pieces of tha ship and get ter shore as best they could. In this way all reached land safely. Thus, tha term “walk tha plank” came ter be known as tha way a feller or lass gets ter shore when all they got is two legs and a board. Later it whar perverted by some notorious pirates, but tha first use of “walk tha plank” whar meant fer good, not evil.
Think on this a wee little bit:
Skipper saved Noah and his family through ah great flood. Inside thar vessel they remained safe.
Skipper saved Jonah through ah great drowning. Inside tha belly of ah large fish he remained safe.
Skipper saved all them who sailed with Saul Paul. Though tha ship be lost, all souls whar saved.
Ter day ever person kin be saved through certain and eternal death by tha blood of tha Son. Our water baptism be our way of showing that our old self be dead. When we come up out of tha water, that be our way of showing we now be alive in tha Son.
If ya ne’er died ter yer old self and be born agin in ter tha fer ever living life of tha Son, will ya make it yer task ter do so now? Some one, some place, at some time be praying ya will, of this ya kin be sure.