The scene breathed life-threatening fears. Imaginations ran wild. Paul knew that staying together was the secret to their survival. The temptation was strong to abandon ship and let each person fend for himself. That’s no way to survive a storm. As the water grew shallower, fear of shipwreck intensified. But Paul warned that allowing the men to escape meant certain death.
The spiritual application is obvious. Our tendency in dire straits is to cut and run. It’s easier at the moment to walk out of a troubled marriage than to face it and work toward restoration. Human nature wants to retreat to a place where each one of us can be all alone, lock the door, and pull the blinds. Alienated, we sink further into depression. Tragically some turn to alcohol, drugs, or worse, to a revolver.
If that in any way describes you, you need the support of family, friends, and especially God’s people. It’s easier to lower the dinghy and jump in all alone. I want to warn you against escaping. Instead, I urge you to stay with others aboard ship. Don’t leap and try to make it on your own. Lock arms. Stay in touch with those who love you the most, who will be with you no matter what. You need the presence of God’s people surrounding you when the bottom has dropped out of your life. Despite what you think, it’s doubtful you can make it on your own. In our case, we had a few close friends of the ministry praying and a unified board encouraging us. Relocating was a challenging experience, but not a lonely one. You and I are designed by God to make it together. The anchor of unity holds us close.
You will need the anchor of unity many times in your life, just as Paul did. So hold on to unity!