Summary: Can we trust God in spite of "Bad Hair Days" when everything is at its worst?
“God is Like VO 5 Hair Spray:
He Holds in All Kinds of Weather”
INTRODUCTION: How many have heard the expression, “I’m having a bad hair day today?” That seems to be a fairly common expression and doesn’t simply refer to your hair looking absolutely terrible, but it could refer to a day filled with problems and frustrations. Like saying, “things are just going terrible today--one thing after another is going wrong. I’m having a bad hair day and nothing I do makes it any better.” Sometimes our hair care products work and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes our best efforts work and sometimes they don’t.
Today I’ve entitled the message, “God is like VO 5 Hair Spray: He Holds in All Kinds of Weather.”
After Paul’s conversion he preached boldly the message of Jesus Christ throughout the land. As a result he experienced much opposition. He stood before many high-ranking officials to state his beliefs, he was imprisoned; and finally, because he was a Roman citizen, he requested to go to Rome and stand before Caesar. Paul seemed to be having a lot of “bad hair days.” Chapter 27 begins at this point where he is ready to sail for Rome.
They were starting out late in the season, actually too late to have a safe trip before winter. They had already lost a lot of time, and it was dangerous to sail after Sept. 14 and impossible after November 11. Paul warned them that disaster would surely happen because they were sailing so late, but the owner of the ship wouldn’t listen to Paul. What did he know about sailing anyway? The centurion and the ship’s owner could have wintered in Fair Havens but instead were determined to sail toward Phoenix a safer harbor to winter which was about 40 miles west of Fair Haven. On the way they got caught in a hurricane called a “northeaster” and this is when their trouble began--this is when they began to have a really “bad hair day.”
At first when they started out things were not going so bad. When we go our own way sometimes things seem to go OK for awhile. No major problems. But as they continued on, they got hit with the “northeaster” that caused them much fear, and they began to lose all hope of ever surviving. They couldn’t turn back now--they were out too far. The ship was being pounded by the storm so hard that they thought it would break apart. They tried to reinforce the ship with ropes, and they threw cargo overboard to lighten the load three different times. All of their efforts didn’t amount to very much. Day after day this intense storm continued. They struggled to survive; but with each passing day, they lost hope of ever coming out alive.
Sometimes we experience a lot of struggles in our lifetime but I hope not as bad as this one.
STORY: The man groaned but didn’t budge. The usher became impatient.
"Sir, if you don’t get up from there, I’m going to have to call the manager."
Again, the man just groaned, which infuriated the usher who turned and marched briskly back up the aisle in search of his manager. In a few moments, both the usher and the manager returned and stood over the man.
Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move him, but with no success. Finally, they summoned the police.
The cop surveyed the situation briefly then asked, "All right buddy, what’s your name?"
"Sam," the man moaned.
"Where ya from, Sam?"
With pain in his voice Sam replied, "The balcony."
The people on the ship were in a predicament similar to Sam. They couldn’t do anything about the situation they found themselves in. Paul, the Christian, was in the same situation. He was facing the same things as all the others. Where was the God that he served? Where was his faith? What was happening to him during these 14 critical days?
One of the things Paul did was tell them, “I told you this would happen. I knew we were going to have “a bad hair day” right from the beginning but no you wouldn’t listen to me. So now we’re in a mess.” I guess he couldn’t resist saying this. He gave his opinion. But something more happened than that. God had not forsaken Paul in spite of the willfulness of the others.
In what way does this scripture speak to us today? I can see several ways.
1. And YET NOW There is Hope: Divine intervention came to Paul at the most intense time of the storm. The ship is tossed with wind and waves, yet the angel finds a way into it. Matthew Henry says, “no storms or tempests can hinder the communication of God’s favor to his people.”