December 18, 2007
ANCHOR OF RENEWAL
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Acts 27:33-38
Can you imagine fighting a storm for two weeks and getting virtually no nourishment? That's what the men on Paul's ship experienced. Even more amazing, that's how most people respond to life's storms. We run our tanks dry fighting the battles on our own, and we end up physically weak, emotionally drained, and unable to sleep. The anchor of renewal guards against that sort of anatomical depletion. Instead, Paul encouraged the men to eat and be renewed. But first he prayed. They all prayed!
Can you imagine that scene? The storm raged about them, while almost three hundred men bowed in prayer as Paul gave thanks for the meager fare, then everybody on board joined together in the meal.
Your personal nourishment is crucial during times of storm. In panic moments, you'll cut a corner on your meals. You'll also fail to get sufficient sleep. It won't be long before you will set aside prayer altogether and you'll find yourself drained, spiritually. Increased emotional pain mixed with decreased spiritual renewal can be lethal to your faith.
Spiritual renewal comes primarily through prayer. Few disciplines are of greater importance when all seems bleak. Simply talk it out. Wrestle with the reason for the storm. Seek His direction. Don't let up until you're satisfied you've got the Lord's mind. That's what Paul modeled on the deck of that rugged ship.
For some of the men on board, I'm confident it was the first time in their lives they had prayed. Certainly, it was the first time they had prayed to Almighty God! It may have been the only time in their lives they'd ever heard a prayer offered for a meal. In the middle of a howling wind-and-rain storm, they paused and witnessed a reverent, humble man offering a prayer of gratitude to the Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, Captain of the winds and waves. That encouraged them. It was simple, but its impact was profound. Paul had shown them the anchor of renewal---a glimpse of hope.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.