I can remember it like it was yesterday.

I was rolling in that aluminum can of a catamaran, rocking and rolling with the swells, on the southernmost point of the Cape of Ayalak in the North Pacific. Our boat captain, Tim, was a bear of a man and had seen far worse than what we were in.

And yet, the terrified tourists that we were ferrying around the Alaskan coastline were none the wiser. All they (and we) knew was that they couldn’t hold down their lunches. Many had never been on the open sea aside from their cruise ships – some hadn’t even been on a boat! But here they were receiving a warm welcome from the North Pacific off the Kenai Peninsula.

Sensing the need to lighten the mood, Captain Tim chimed in over the intercom: “Heh,” he chuckled over the intercom, “if the coastguard knew about these conditions we wouldn’t be out here right now.” Needless to say, the wide-eyed terror and utter silence from the tourists confirmed the suspicion that they did not share Tim’s sense of humor.

Our response to life’s storms is similar to those tourists on the boat: we are wide-eyed, embarrassed by our lack of preparedness, uncertain of what our next course of action should be aside from throwing up. Lacking any clear course we sit in panic and perhaps a mix of shame wondering where our lives went wrong.

But what Tim knew, and these tourists didn’t, was that choppy waters and stormy conditions were just another part of the ocean. Whether calm or choppy, the sea was all acting within its nature. Nothing was wrong as long as you had the right man at the helm – even if that man seems to have a propensity for going out in stormy conditions.

Life is full of storms. Just as the sailors of Acts 27 were caught in a storm by their own arrogance, ignorance, and negligence – but also by an act of nature – we too often find ourselves in the storms of life.

But unlike the response of those without hope – we understand rightly that life is full of rough seas. What we cling to are the promises of God that stand regardless of life’s circumstances. Just as Paul received a message of hope in the midst of utter despair, so we too cling to the hope of Christ on the cross, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure,” (Heb. 6:19).

Ryan Lunde
Young Adult Ministry

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