Summary: When storms come, and they will come, "Hold On," there is peace among the pieces. I preached this message in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
Peace Among the Pieces
By Pastor Donny Granberry
It has definantly been difficult for many of our Church family, our neighbors, and those living within the reach of Ike these past week or so.
Our prayers, concern, and compassion go out to you and to all of those who were affected by the storm.
While it has been a difficult time, it has also been a wonderful time in the harvest field.
I’ve met neighbors that I have never spoken with in the 5 ½ years of living in our neighborhood.
It seemed as though the busy-ness of people’s lives came to a screeching halt, or maybe, shifted into another direction.
It was comforting to see many of our churches becoming a place of shelter and provision to those who were and are in need.
Now, more than ever, we need to be Jesus in skin to those who are in need.
Let’s make our profession together, “This is my Bible, God’s …”
This morning I want to reverberate to you that there is “Peace Among the Pieces.”
As I sat at my desk in my study at home Friday night and Saturday morning during Hurricane Ike I prayed.
I prayed for the safety of my family, I prayed for the safety of you and your families, I prayed for God to protect the church, and I prayed for the Lord to give us peace.
I could hear the shingles begin to be torn from my roof, and the debris from other homes as they hit mine.
I began to put out containers as water begin to come into our home, and I could hear the awful howl of the storm and its destruction.
Then all of the sudden something happened.
As quickly as the storm came roaring in, it became calm.
The eye of the storm was coming over us and the winds became almost non-existent, the rain ceased, and it became peaceful.
Not long after that, the storm came back with even more force than before.
A little while after it stopped and it was time to access the damages and to prepare to restore things once again, hopefully even better.
You will never understand the true meaning of Peace until you find yourself in the storm.
There was a challenge given to the artist of a community. They were to enter a painting that represented peace.
As the community began to look at the paintings, there was one that stood out from the rest that they were sure would win.
It was a beautiful pastoral scene, a rolling green meadow, punctuated with beautiful colorful flowers, a deep blue sky with puffy white clouds, and a boy walking through the meadow headed for a brook with a fishing pole in his hand.
That painting came in second.
First place went to a painting that portrayed a storm.
The sky was dark and angry and waves were crashing into a cliff, and lightning was flashing through the skies.
At first the people thought, what does that painting have to do with peace?
Yet on a closer observation, they saw a cleft in the rock, with a mother bird with her babies all nestled under her wings, and they were sleeping.
Now that my friend is peace.
Not absence from the storm, but peace in the middle of the storm.
In our text today, we find Paul going through a terrible storm.
Paul is being transported to Rome on a large ship carrying grain and cargo for the Emperor.
They are hit by a violent storm with hurricane force winds and are in this storm for 14 days.
They have no idea where they are because they cannot see the sun, moon, or stars.
Acts 27:20, 22-25 NIV
20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, `Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
1. All Hope Seemed Gone
Have you ever been to the place where it seems hopeless?
If not, you just hang in there, keep on living, you will get there.
I know, because I have been there.
About 10-11 years ago I had been sick and went to see my Dr.
He sent me to a Hematologist, who in turn sent me to an Oncologist.