TEXT: Acts 27:1-44; 28:1-11
A BIG ship was sailing on the ocean. Paul, one of God’s preachers, was on the ship. He was not having a nice vacation. He was on there with some soldiers who were taking him to another city to put him into a jail.
Paul was good. He loved God. He had not been naughty or done one thing bad. The men who did not love Jesus were being mean to him. They were trying to make him stop telling men, women, boys and girls about Jesus. Paul wanted everyone to know about Jesus’ love no matter what they did to him or how mean they treated him. He preached anyway. Now they were going to put him in jail.
Everything went fine for a while. The water was not bouncy or rough. The wind was blowing just right to make the boat go.
Then a great, big, strong wind started to blow. It blew harder and harder. Pretty soon the ship was rocking and tipping. The big waves and wind rolled the ship just as if it were a little toy boat. The rain came down so hard and so fast the sailors got all wet. They could not make the ship go the right way.
The sky was black with clouds. They could not see the sun. They could not even see the stars twinkling in the nighttime. The wind made a terrible, howling noise. Paul was not afraid. He prayed. God would take care of him. Paul knew that. God did take care of Paul.
One night God sent an angel to tell Paul that the ship really would wreck and fall all to pieces but no one would be hurt. That is just what happened.
The sailors had been so afraid! They had worked so hard to keep the boat from going down into the water that they had not had anything to eat. Paul told them to sit down and eat. God was taking care of them, too.
The boat got near the land. It could not sail any farther. It broke all to pieces and began to sink down, down, down into the water. Little pieces of boards floated around.
Some of the men started to swim. Some of them held on to the boards from the ship and floated to the shore. They all got to the shore.
Some people lived on that island. They were surprised when they got up early on that rainy, cold morning and looked out at the sea. They saw a ship that was breaking to pieces. They saw men in the water. How those kind people did hurry fast down to the water to help!
The men from the ship were very tired and wet and cold. The people of the little island, Melita, made a big, big, hot bonfire on the shore. The men were glad to see that fire. They stood all around it to get warm.
How kind these people of Melita were to Paul and the other men who were with him! The chief man of the island asked them to come over to his house. They stayed there three days. He probably had the men that worked for him fix good meals for them.
Paul heard that this good chief man’s daddy was very sick. Paul probably thought, “I do wish this chief man would let me pray for his daddy. God would make him well. Then all the people on this island would know about the real God.”
Paul did pray for the sick man. He put his hands on him like Jesus said to do in the Bible. God made him well and strong again.
Other sick people were prayed for and got well, too. Paul stayed there for a while until the bad stormy weather was all over. All the people learned about God and how to pray.
People treated Paul mean sometimes, but he did not stop telling others about Jesus. Some of our friends might tease us about Jesus or going to Sunday school. Jesus does not want us to stop telling them about Him, either. Maybe they will learn to love Jesus like you do.
You can be just like Paul — a good helper for Jesus. You can pray for someone who is sick. God will hear you. Maybe it will be your very own prayer that God uses to make them well.