There is almost nothing more powerful than a huge storm on one of the open oceans of the earth. Call it a storm, monsoon, hurricane, typhoon or cyclone: most sailors have ridden out one or more of these monsters of the sea.
The Scriptures have much to say about storms. The prophet Jonah was clobbered by a storm as he sought to flee from the Lord. Jonah was attempting to avoid God’s direct command to go to a place called Nineveh.
It took a ferocious storm to convince Jonah that first of all, the Lord was in the storm with him and his shipmates. Secondly, Jonah realized the Lord had a purpose in bringing the storm across his path. Lastly, it occurred to Jonah that the Lord was faithful to lean upon in the time of the storm.
There is quite a story behind this adventure of Jonah and the trip to Nineveh by way of a great fish (was it a whale, perhaps?). You can read all about it in the Book of Jonah. Jonah was glad the Lord was on board the ship and also with him in the belly of the whale.
Another instance happened with our Lord on the sea with His disciples. A great storm arose, and He had to rise from His sleep in the stern of the ship to rebuke the wind and waves.
“Peace, be still!” Jesus declared, and a beautiful calmness settled over the face of the water. The disciples were astounded at the power of their Lord: “Even the wind and the waters obey Him!” they exclaimed. They, too, were delighted that the Master of every storm, the Lord Jesus, was with them in their darkest hour upon the open, stormy Sea of Galilee.
Consider the instance in the Book of Acts, Chapter 27, when the Apostle Paul was being transported to Rome to appear before Caesar for trial. A terrible storm named “Euroclydon” rose up, and it threatened to destroy and sink the vessel.
Paul, who was in constant touch with his Lord, was a great comfort to the other men. He informed them that the Lord had assured him that if they stayed in the ship, all 276 aboard would make it to shore safely. His word to them proved to be accurate: all 276 souls were saved.
I recall an occasion in the Pacific when a powerful storm arose one night and while the landing ship tank was pitching and rocking something fierce. Word came down that the large gun mounts all needed to be checked to make sure they were secured for the heavy weather.
As I climbed up the outboard ladder on the port side leading up to the gun tub, the ship took a huge roll to port. I suddenly found myself clinging for dear life to the top rung of the ladder; both feet were suspended at an angle over the water. One slip of my hands, and it would have been all over for this sailor.
I was plenty scared at how close I came to going overboard in the pitch darkness with no one to hear my calls for help. I would have been long gone before anyone missed old “Sparky” Sparks. Only years later did I recognize and express true thanks to the Lord who had been with me in that particular storm, as well as countless other storms in my life.
Here’s just a closing thought: no matter what the nature or circumstances may be concerning the storm you may be going through today, it is important to realize that there is a mighty “Master of the Sea” who will hear your earnest, sincere cries when you are in the midst of a storm of life.
In Jeremiah 33:3 we’re told, “Call to me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Never underestimate the power of prayer! Don’t entertain the false notion that our wonderful Lord has turned his back on you, or is unaware of what is going on in your life.
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
God asks us to trust Him. Then when storms or troubles come, we must believe that all of heaven is back of the true child of God. We cannot fail!
Dr. David Sparks is pastor of the Flat Rock Pentecostal Holiness Church.