Acts 27-28~ Day 58~ Everyone will have a story!

I've been a counselor at quite a few summer camps and have seen the same scene play out every time.  The first day of camp is always a little uneasy for campers. Some come to camp not knowing anyone else.  They are assigned to a cabin and meet the group with whom they will be spending the week. I've witnessed awkward introductions, nonexistent eye contact, and nonchalant attitudes as they move through the first day activities of swim tests, camp rules and established routine.  Yet, by the last day of camp, I see these same campers clinging to each other, crying their eyes out, as they say goodbye to their new best friends! In the short span of one week the program and adventurous activities draw them together into a tight friendship faster than an entire year of school could ever produce.

I was thinking about how adventure and near death experiences draw people together when I read about Julius and his time with Paul. Julius was the centurion who was in charge of the prisoners on the journey from Caesarea to Italy.  I liked Julius! He was a kind man (27:3), resourceful (27:6), respectful of authority (27:11), he learned to be open to what Paul had to say (27:31), and he was diligent to his task of getting Paul to Rome (27:43).  I bet Paul saw all those characteristics in Julius during their time together, which was much longer than a week!

They spent "many days" at sea before stopping at Fair Haven, then they were adrift at sea for two weeks before landing on Malta where they stayed three months! It took them over 7 days to get to Rome after they landed in Italy. So these guys were together for over four months!  I would imagine the action packed time together bonded the 273 men in a special way.   Yet, when they arrived in Italy, all the men dispersed.  Camp was over.  I wonder what the good-byes were like?

Julius completed his task of getting Paul to Rome.  How did they say good-bye to eachother?   Was the life of Julius changed for ever for having met Paul and getting the opportunity to hear the gospel? I wish Luke could have said a little bit more about that.  O-well,  I'll get the rest of the story at the reunion!

My thoughts always turn to heaven when I think about things like this. Heaven will be like a camp reunion! It's going to be so much fun!  We are going to get to see the people whose lives were changed by the gospel. It's going to take forever to hear everyone's personal story but we've got the time!  Imagine hearing an angel interject about his role in a person's testimony.  We are going to get the full story form all sorts of different view points.  What a glorious reunion that will be!! I can't wait!

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