Psalm 107:28-30 – Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. (NIV)
My journey led me down a one-lane road in the southwest tip of Ireland to the tiny village of Crookhaven. The note on the back of a souvenir postcard said, "Crookhaven, a safe anchorage protected from the fury of the Atlantic". For years this place has been part of my family history. In November 1846, my great-great-grandfather proudly sailed as first mate on the family-built brigantine, the Exile. The crew planned to take on a load of coal in Pictou, Nova Scotia, and take it to New York for the winter markets.
Without warning, a storm broke, shaking the Exile's hull like a farm dog killing an unwelcome rat, never letting go of its grip. One instant the angry billows elevated the ship and those aboard to towering heights, only to plunge them a few seconds later into the depths of chaos. Although the crew fought its angry grip for days, their mast and sails were torn from their vessel and they were unable to make headway towards their destination. The wind kept blowing them east.
With diminishing supplies and no hope of a rescue in sight, the sailors approached the first mate. "You've got to do something," they urged. "We're going to perish!" Grandfather William had passed by the southern tip of Ireland when he was on another voyage, and he felt their best hope was to jettison the excess cargo and set a course for Ireland. With this plan in mind, he took over the helm and allowed the wind to take the ship. Two months later the bedraggled sailors and battered ship arrived in the lee of Crookhaven — safe at last!
In life we may find ourselves being tossed about in what seems like the vicious grip of a storm. Shaken, storm-tossed, and blown off course, we are unable, in our own strength, to make it to our destination. However, there is One who has travelled this journey ahead of us. If we will go to God and ask Him to take over the direction of our lives, He will pilot us to the safe haven He has provided for us.
Prayer: Dear God, please take over our storm-tossed lives, and guide us to the place of shelter You have prepared for us. Amen.