Kayaking in a Storm
Suddenly a windstorm struck the lake. Waves started splashing into the boat, and it was about to sink. Jesus was in the back of the boat with his head on a pillow, and he was asleep. His disciples woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re about to drown?” Jesus got up and ordered the wind and the waves to be quiet. The wind stopped, and everything was calm. Mark 4:38
Many people at some level have a fear of water; I am no exception. I faced my fear one day when I paddled my kayak into near “Perfect Storm” conditions on the San Diego Bay. The little excursion started off normal. I had my kayak, my strength, and my desire for a good hard workout in my “backyard playground” of water. It was a cloudy day with a forecast of rain, but I decided to put my kayak in the choppy water anyway. An occasional sprinkling in life is OK with me.
As I started out, I noticed in the distance a large dark thunderhead looming over the western skyline. I continued anyway with confidence toward my destination point until an unusually strong wind began to blow and push me off course. Before long, I was laboring tremendously and realized I was in way over my head. With waves crashing violently over the front of my little boat and fierce winds pushing me aside, even though I was straining with all my might, I sensed the possibility of capsizing.
The elements of the earth were ganging up on me, and I felt hopeless. What did I do? I did what any reasonable person would do in that situation, I began to pray. I prayed for protection, and I prayed for strength. I remember the precise spot I was in on the bay that day when I had a sort of “come to Jesus moment.” My view of how small I really was in this big, big world was renewed.
Obviously I survived. Not long after the storm, I went out on a sunny day to retrace my journey. I reached the spot where I contemplated death the last time out. I noticed a discoloration of the water and stuck my paddle down to check the depth. Below my kayak was a sandbar. I began to laugh out loud. The lip on the now-visible sand bar is probably what caused the violent waves that nearly sunk me. There I was, straining to stay afloat in my storm of life. If I would have just tipped over, I could have walked a while. The moments I spent in fear of failure were the same moments God had me safe in His care. He definitely has a sense of humor.
Do you have a perfect storm of sorts brewing up in your life? If so, you are not alone. For the disciples their trouble was in a boat, for me it was in a kayak on a cloudy day. I’m not sure what your difficulty is, but God does and it’s significant to Him. He cares for you and is actively working on your behalf behind the scene. The outcome is not guaranteed to be what you want, or even worse, it may be exactly what you don’t want. Either way, I am confident that the God who controls the wind and waves of your life will meet you in your storm. He may even make you better for having gone through it.
God, thank You for Your watchful eye overseeing my life. Help me today as I navigate through the deep waters of life. I trust in Your plan; help me trust even more.