The wind howled and giant waves splashed over the deck of the ship. The sails blew wildly, ripping from the force of the wind. The boards of the ship creaked and began breaking as the sailors tried to bring it to land.
“Let’s try to make the ship lighter!” the captain shouted. They began throwing everything they could into the sea, hoping that the water wouldn’t come over the side. The sailors were terribly afraid. The ship was about to sink! They thought for sure they were going to die!
Not everyone on the ship was afraid. Paul wasn’t. Paul was one of God’s preachers, and he was not on that ship by choice. He was a prisoner. Soldiers were taking him to another city across the sea to put him into a jail.
The men on the ship wished with all their hearts that they had listened to Paul. Before they left land, he had told them the ship should stay where it was. But the captain wanted to travel to another place where it would be nice to stay for the winter. So they had set out. And now look at the trouble they were in!
Paul began to pray. He believed God would take care of him. God had always watched over him, no matter what happened.
The sky grew blacker and blacker, and the ship rocked down into the angry waves. Days and nights went by and the sailors never saw the sun or the stars. Was there any hope?
Then one day, Paul stood before all the other men and told them some good news. God had sent an angel with this message, “Don’t be afraid, Paul. God wants you to finish this journey so you can see Caesar. Everyone on this ship will be safe.” But Paul told them the ship would be broken to pieces. And that’s exactly what happened!
The sailors had been working hard to save the ship. They were tired and hungry. Paul told them that they needed to eat, so they would stay healthy. And they didn’t have to worry, because God had promised to take care of them.
When the ship got near land, it suddenly ran aground and broke into pieces. Paul and some of the men began to swim. A few of the men held on to broken boards from the ship and floated to the shore. They were cold and wet. But when morning came, the sailors found out that not one of the 276 men who were aboard the ship had drowned! The sailors and Paul had landed safely on an island, just as God had promised.
God still takes care of those who love and trust Him. We may never be in a shipwreck, but we know God will be with us wherever we are.
This lesson is about how God protected Paul during his perilous journey to Rome, and how his life was spared when a shipwreck occurred. As you read the Bible text and talk over this lesson with your child, make sure he understands that God cares for us too, and has promised to be our Protector.
Try to imagine what the news media of the day might have said regarding the incident in this lesson. How would the “Rome Daily” have described what took place? After discussing this with your child, help him use your daily paper to make his own headlines and illustrations.
Cut out and discard a front-page picture and headline from your newspaper. Paste a piece of white paper behind the empty space so your child can illustrate the Bible event of Paul’s shipwreck. Then have him compose a headline to go with his picture. If your child enjoys writing, he might even like to do a brief reporter’s coverage of the event. Help him to be sure to cover the five W’s of professional journalism—who, what, where, when, and why.