Jonah 1:4-5 – But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea, that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god.
OK, so I was stupid. I can be forgiven for a bit of stupidity. I sailed over to Pictou Island to spend the night in the safety of the Western Wharf with my family. The next morning I planned to head home in time for a couple of appointments and a very important party for my daughter. The day dawned bright and clear and very windy.
No problem. We'll just wait.
The wind increased to a howl.
This doesn't look good.
Albert was on his way back and his boat is big, so I sent my family along with him and I headed out in my little sailboat with the two horsepower motor making a vain attempt to crash through the seas. A couple of miles out, it gave up even the attempt and died. I managed to get the main sail up and then I held on for dear life as wind and wave fought to see which could turn me over first.
For two hours I offered every hymn and scripture verse I could to wind and waves. Even Nearer my God to Thee was dredged from the recesses of my memory.
I know how Jonah's mariners felt when they offered their prayers, and I know how natural it is in times of trouble to offer prayer to the Lord of wind and sky.
Their prayer was answered and so too was mine. The setting sun saw my little boat into a quiet harbour and peace at the last. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: "I called to the Lord out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me.
"But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Deliverance belongs to the Lord." (Jonah 2:2,3,9 – Jonah's prayer to the Lord in his distress.)