“But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” Acts 27:26
It happens all the way through the Bible. God gives someone an instruction, they obey, and then Bam! Everything goes haywire. God called Abraham to leave his home and county and go to the land God would give him. Abe obeyed, and the next thing we know, there is a famine in that land (Gen.12:4,10). An angel told Mary she would be the mother of the Messiah, which must have incited pastel visions of glory, respect, and joy. Next thing she knows, she’s a pregnant single mom starting labor on the back of a donkey (Luke 1:31). When God promised Paul that no one would die in the storm, He did not promise a helicopter rescue. His next words were, “Oh, and Paul, you’re going to be shipwrecked on a foreign island.”
We often have the mistaken idea that obedience to God will result in a stroll through the rose garden. We have adopted the false idea that following God means our life here on earth will be easier. Many times, the opposite is true. What if Mary had said, “No thanks” to the Son of God because her obedience would result in heartache, embarrassment, and pain? If Paul had rejected the shipwreck idea, the entire island of Malta would have missed the gospel. We are only responsible for our obedience to God, not the results of that obedience. God is working behind the scenes to paint a bigger picture than we can see. When obedience is our goal, we don’t have to settle for human-sized results. We get to experience God-sized results.
Our question at the end of each day should be this: “Lord, was I as obedient to you today as I know how to be?” When the answer is “yes,” our part is accomplished. The results are up to Him.