Facing The Storm
We’ve all seen them, jigsaw puzzles of mountain vistas, stands of evergreen forests, waterfalls and pristine lakes. For some these scenes go no further than beautiful pictures, for me they represent my childhood.
Before I could even walk my parents took me camping. One of my earliest memories is sharing my lunch with hungry fish over the side of our canoe. Around the age of six my dad made my sister and I child-sized paddles. From a young age we were trusted to take the canoe and paddle near shore.
One summer afternoon my sister and I climbed into our family canoe, our cousin and foster sister in another. Echos of giggling girls ages nine through ten, and splashing paddles filled the air. We felt grown up, near kin to the feeling a teen gets behind the wheel of a car. As we paddled and giggled we were unaware that a storm was moving in. By the time we noticed, we found we had floated downwind far from camp. Soon white-capped waves formed. With all our might we tried to paddle back but our arms didn’t have the strength to fight the waves. We called out to each other and managed to get our canoes side by side and tied them together. Four scared girls huddled close, bowed their heads and prayed that Jesus would send His angels to help them.
With the canoes still tied together we paddled crosswise through the wind. Normally this would have easily capsized us, but our angels protected us and helped push us to a bramble covered bank. We managed to secure the canoes then struggled through the rosebushes and onto an old logging road that lead to camp. There was much relief on our parents faces as we walked into camp, everyone talking at once telling our miracle story.
I was the oldest and responsible for our canoe. I lead Dad back down the road to recover it. The wind was still blowing, and white caps lapped at the waiting canoe. This time when I got into the canoe I sat at the bow. The wind blew against my face I had nothing to fear my Dad was with me!
It took all Dad’s strength to fight the waves, confirming the fact that we had experience a miracle! This was my first personal encounter with a miraculous answer to prayer, one that stands out as a grounding foundation for the faith that has continued to grow throughout my life. As I grew older I encountered many storms of another kind, ones that caused me to huddle in the corner in fear nearly capsizing my faith. One such time God “spoke to me”. I pictured myself crouched in the corner of a boat in a viscous storm. I soon realized, like the ride back in the canoe, I needn’t fear I wasn’t alone. Jesus, like in the Bible stories, stood calmly in my boat with His arms out-stretched and proclaimed “peace be still”! My storm wasn’t over but peace returned to my heart, I was safe because Jesus was in my boat.
Our world is in chaos, a storm has blown in and taken us off guard. Will we hide in the corner panic stricken or will we turn our faces to the wind claiming God’s promises trusting we aren’t alone.