It promised to be a fun day for my wife Linda and myself. We were heading out on Lake Superior in our twenty-one foot Starcraft cuddy cabin. We were going to run up along the Pictured Rocks coast toward Grand Marais. It is a beautiful area with high colored cliffs, waterfalls, rock towers such as Miners Castle and Chapel Rock. We always enjoy the scenery and take too many pictures. Today was overcast so it would not be a good day for taking pictures. Yesterday I had checked the weather forecast for today. Prediction was for overcast conditions with two to three foot waves. Not ideal conditions, but we had been looking forward to today, it would be okay. Before the day was over I would regret not getting a more up-to-date forecast.
We were several miles out when conditions suddenly changed. The wind picked up from out of the north and started whipping up the water surface. We soon found ourselves bucking six foot waves. While the boat could handle these okay, it made for a very uncomfortable ride.
Six foot rollers on the ocean is not a big deal. However, on the Great Lakes where the waves are closer together, it creates an entirely different situation. The ride was becoming rough as the boat slammed into the waves. Spray was coming over the windshield. The waves were increasing in size as the wind picked up. My wife wisely suggested that we should turn back.
Turning back was a good idea, but the idea of turning the boat around among the waves was scary. First, you don’t want a wave catching you sideways and flipping the boat over. And second, after you have completed the turn, you need to get moving and stay ahead of the next wave so it doesn’t catch up to you and wash over the stern of the boat. I did manage to time it right in between waves and got the boat turned back toward the docks.
While going with the waves is not as violent as hitting them head on, it does have it’s own set of difficulties. The worst would be if the engine should fail and a wave should overtake the boat from behind. It would wash over the stern and immediately flood the boat.
Climbing the back side of a wave is like driving a boat uphill, which you are actually doing. And since the wave is moving in the same direction, it seems to take forever for you to reach the crest of the wave. As you ease over the crest, it is then necessary to turn the boat and descend the face of the wave at an angle, so as not to nosedive the bow of the boat into the trough or bottom of the wave, which could result in it being flipped over from behind. For a novice boater as myself, it was a most interesting trip back and one we would not soon forget.
We all have storms in our lives of one kind or another. If you have not had storms in your life, then maybe you simply haven’t lived long enough. The Lord never said that we won’t have storms to deal with, but He did say he would go through them with us. He is our anchor in the storm of life.
In Mark, chapter four, we are told of a storm, “That day when evening came, he (Jesus) said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side….. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The disciples were afraid because they were not putting their faith in the promise of Jesus, that they were going to the other side of the sea of Galilee. If we place our faith in Jesus, He will calm the storms in our lives. No matter what the storm is that we are going through, we will have the peace that God is in control. Romans 8:28 tell us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” This doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen in our lives. It does mean that God can work any situation out for our ultimate good.
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