“He (the centurion/commander) gave orders for anyone who could swim to dive in and go for it, and for the rest to grab a plank. Everyone made it to shore safely.” Acts 27:44 (The Message Bible)
In scripture earlier in Acts 27, the boat full of prisoners lodged itself on a reef, and the soldiers figured the only way to keep the prisoners from escaping would be to kill them. If they failed to confine the prisoners, they possibly faced their own death. To save their own hide, someone suggested killing the prisoners, but the centurion found something special in Paul, and to save him, he ordered all the prisoners to abandon the ship and swim to shore.
It is worth spending time thinking about why God used the centurion, who was not a Christian, to save Paul. Sometimes I am hung up on the fact that Jesus saves—and he most certainly does—but in this scripture lesson, God shows his power in another way—working through a non-Christian.
For years, I have wanted to spend a summer by a lake. This year, because I am retired, my dream has come true, but I have yet to stick my feet into the water—you might say I’m a swim snob who prefers a swimming pool. But today, the temperature in central Iowa could reach 100 degrees; I just might get more than my feet wet.
Dear God, you amaze me with all the ways you save me from sinking. Amen.