The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.
Thoughts for Today:As an experienced scuba diver I am always interested in stories of scuba adventure, or in this case terror. A number of years ago one of those stories made national headlines. It seems that Dan Carlock (who was certified for advanced open water dives) was separated from his group while diving on an oil rig seven miles off the coast of Newport Beach. Having myself been separated from my dive group on more than one occasion, I can relate to the momentary feelings of discomfort. What makes Dan's story so terrifying is not only could he not find his dive group, but the boat left the dive site without him (abandoning him in the water alone), and did not discover his absence until four hours later. Clearly the dive company made all sorts of errors related to diver safety protocol. Dan was left bobbing all by himself in the vastness of the ocean, drifting in currents, miles from his original dive site -- so he did the only thing left -- he called on the mercy of the Lord.
When Dan was finally discovered missing (hours later), an all out search began involving aircraft and the Coast Guard, however it was impeded by a dense fog. Fortunately this story has a happy ending as Dan was picked up by a Boy Scout training ship crossing from Catalina to Newport Beach. It just so happens the Boy Scout's were practicing "search and rescue" exercises, when they spotted something floating in the water. As part of the "exercise" they went to investigate, finding Dan alive, cold, hungry, and scared after spending nearly four hours in 60 degree water. Was this coincidence or divine intervention, you be the judge.
In our passage today, I wonder if there were those in the assembly who as they listened thought that perhaps the miraculous signs and wonders that God had done among the Gentiles were coincidences? I'm sure there are always some who refuse to believe. What about you? Are you one of the people who read Dan's story and did not praise God for his rescue?
Questions to Ponder:While in the water Dan prayed, "God send your guardian angels to protect me. Whisper in the captain's ear and tell him where I'm at." Dan was praying for the captain of the dive boat, but God had a different captain in mind. I find it interesting that the captain of the Boy Scout ship would choose on that morning and at that particular time to turn 45 degrees south to avoid heavy traffic in the shipping lanes because without this course adjustment Dan would never have been seen or saved. I wonder if when Dan or the Boy Scouts retold this experience if those in the audience thought, "What a wonderful coincidence, how lucky for Dan," or "Isn't it amazing how God works in all events to deliver us and demonstrate his mercy and grace." In which camp are you, coincidence or divine intervention? Do you truly believe in a "personal" God who divinely intervenes in our lives? Where do you need to look for divine intervention in your life? It begins with your prayer life -- only when we make our requests known to God, very specifically, will our eyes be opened to divine intervention. Dan's request was specific. Are yours?