Acts 27 is not the final chapter in Acts. There is one more chapter. When reading Acts 27, it appears that it is the last chapter. Paul gets on a ship as a prisoner headed for Rome and the trip goes from bad to worse. Paul sees that their trip is ill-fated and warned them to stop the voyage, but the captain and crew were determined to forge ahead and a gentle breeze turned into a hurricane. Have you ever been there? I have. The seemingly harmless winds of life brew into a life storm that is out of control and it seems like your story is over. Verse 20 is haunting when it says “we lost all hope of being saved.”
Imagine Paul’s story ending here. What a tragedy. After the experience of transforming from Saul to Paul, bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, and planting churches all over the known world it ends with a shipwreck? Had this happened we would still have thought of Paul as a wonderful man, but there would be an asterisk by his name. There is nothing glorious about a senseless shipwreck of a death because some foolhardy captain wouldn’t turn back. But….this is not the last chapter. Paul would die for his faith, but not for a captain’s foolishness. The Lord saw to it that this was not the last chapter. An angel told him that he would go and defend himself before Caesar. Now that’s the way a God story should end-witnessing to the most powerful man in the known world. Acts has 28 chapters not 27. The last chapter is reserved for sharing his faith in the epicenter of the world. Paul would not die a meaningless death, but would go out in a blaze of glory.
Maybe there is a storm that has shipwrecked your God story. It’s not the plan of God for any of us to die meaningless deaths. Dare to believe that God has one more chapter for you. It may be sharing your faith to those around you while your life ebbs away from a disease or it may be that there is a new ministry for you to do. Whatever the case, God is not finished with you. Trust that God has one more chapter in your life. In God stories, there are no tragedies, only comedies. Your future ministry does not have to be defined by the storm of the present.
Footnote: The day I wrote this article, my daughter Kristiana called to tell me that one of her favorite professors, Colonel Hershy, passed away suddently on campus after playing a game of raquetball. He was only 50 years old and was a picture of health who taught the Life Wellness classes on campus. I’m thanking God today for a godly professor who invested in my daughter and others to teach them with their words and their life. He was known for his great sense of humor, his deep patriotism and his Christian character. He died investing his life in the next generation. What a wonderful last chapter.