‘I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me.’
Jonah 2:2 NLT
A few years ago, I helped out on a Brownie day out to the Isle of Wight. In the past I had been in a boat in rough seas, but nothing had prepared me for what I experienced on our return journey home that day. We were in a smallish boat that carried about a hundred people. The trip was only going to take a couple of hours, but for those hours I had to grip onto my Lord with all my might.
As the seas let rip as if it was out of control in anger, our boat was thrown about in the waves. As I concentrated on helping the understandably very scared Brownies, I went into autopilot.
Everyone around me was being sick, most of the girls were crying. I tried to get to all of them which was very hard to do, as sometimes it felt like you were climbing up an unstable mountain, by the way the boat was being thrashed about. I noticed that not only were the other leaders looking like they thought we would not survive, the most concerning thought that ran through my head was observing the boat staff acting in a similar way!
It’s strange when you are in situation that is dangerous, something clicks in you that seems to make you get on with what needs to be done, sometimes it’s the little things that can unravel us more.
I was oddly calm, the situation was completely out of control, there was nothing we could do. We were in the hands of the awful storm, being pushed to the crest of giant waves and then thrown to the bottom, with water coming into the boat.
Because there wasn’t anything I could do I felt stronger; as the only One who could save us was God. We couldn’t go and stop the storm, we couldn’t pull the boat to safety, all we could do was be there in that moment. I needed to focus on my job for the day, taking care of the young girls in my care, as I prayed.
It took us over 6 hours to get home… for the next week I could barely walk, I felt like I didn’t have my landlegs back for quite sometime, but I am so grateful that God heard my prayers and kept us safe that day.
The storms of life
Since then I have been through many ‘storms’ when all around me is in chaos.
Jesus’ powerful parable of Him calming ths storm helps remind us what we need in order to handle the storms we face in life – Trust and Faith
‘As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,
“Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”
So they took Jesus in the boat and started out,
leaving the crowds behind
(although other boats followed).
But soon a fierce storm came up.
High waves were breaking into the boat,
and it began to fill with water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion.
The disciples woke him up, shouting,
“Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves,
“Silence! Be still!”
Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:35-40 NLT
As with the great storm in the story of Jonah, the only way the sailors could calm the storm was by throwing Jonah into the sea (Jonah 1:10-16). As they saw God’s mighty power stop the storm after they had thrown him into the sea, it left the sailors awestruck (Jonah 1:16) and led them to follow the Lord.
Recently I have been going through another great storm, but once again I see God’s amazing faithfulness carry me. I have been very aware of how some people have been watching me, as I deal with what we are going through.
My prayer is that they may see God’s glory, as my precious Lord calms the storm. The battle often includes not letting what other people think affect you, and your walk with God. Some may seek to place what they are feeling and how they think you should be acting in difficult circumstances on you, as they haven’t felt or experienced the power of God working within their lives, as they don’t know Him.
I am challenged to focus even more on Jesus, with the hope that their eyes may see Him, not us; as we seek to lay down our lives and put our trust in our Heavenly Father in all things. As the inspirational image above shows, we have a lifeguard who can walk on water, who remains close by our side in all circumstances.
We often don’t understand why we go through certain things, but how wonderful would it be for those around us to question and seek God’s face in their own challenges, as we hold tightly to God in ours.
If you would like to learn more about trust, I recommend the wonderful devotional and Bible study book by the Girlfriends in God – Trusting God
With thanks to Girlfriends in God on Crosswalk where I found this wonderful inspirational image. Author unknown, if you know the artist of this image, please let me know. Thank you.