For the men and women stationed at the Naval Station Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, began as just a normal day. But at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian time, all that changed. 353 Japanese fighter planes, torpedo planes and bombers surprise attacked the naval base, damaging all eight battleships with four being sunk, damaging or sinking another eight ships, destroying 188 airplanes, killing 2,403 Americans and wounding 1,178 others. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
Right now, maybe you are tending to your business when all of a sudden you find yourself under ttack; it could be from a surprise attack or possibly you saw it coming. But regardless, when it happens, your well laid out plans change, your cherished comforts get tossed into the sea, the smoke and fire cloud your vision, and your boat capsizes and begins to sink. You walk around dazed and bloodied, confused about what to do next, wondering where God is in all this. Life might just never be the same.
Do you believe that God keeps His promises? Do you have faith that God keeps His promises even when your current situation looks as if God is nowhere to be found just as your ship is sinking?
In the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul and his mates where on a ship that they feared might sink, not from a surprise attack, but in the midst of a violent storm. During the storm, an angel of the God told Paul not to be afraid of the pending danger. Here is what Paul said to the men when they feared the ship would sink with them on it – “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.” Acts 27:22
A few verses later we read more of Paul’s words – “So keep courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” (v.25)
The storm was violent and the ship hit a sandbar, ran aground, and did break apart. Some soldiers wanted to kill Paul and his men to keep them from swimming ashore, but the story ends like this – “He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.” (vv.43b-44)
We encourage you to read this story in its entirety, found in Acts 27:13-44.
So today, just as that infamous day 76 years ago, you might be under attack, you could be facing some dire situation, but know that God, the same God who promises that He will never leave you or forsake you (Deut. 31:6), is right with you in the midst of the mess, and He offers you safety, comfort, and protection even as your ship sinks.
New Bern, North Carolina