An incident that happened some fifty years ago is as detailed in my mind as though it were yesterday. The only difference today is my attitude — an attitude of grateful thanks to my heavenly Father, Who was not only aware of the possibility of danger, but provided a way out.
Psalm 107:23-24 – Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. (NIV)
It was my husband's desire to take the gospel of Christ along the west coast of Canada up to the Alaska border, perhaps holding a Bible study here and there, or even praying with someone who had suffered the loss of a family member or friend. We provided for our own support by representing sixteen companies based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Our boat became the showroom for the various items, with approximately two tons of samples. The owner of a store would come to the boat to select his merchandise, the orders would be mailed to Vancouver, and the purchases would be forwarded directly to the store owner. Each trip would take approximately three months, one in the spring and one in the fall.
We were ending our fall run and were making our way south from Prince Rupert. Our boat was sixty-five feet long, with a draft of approximately six to seven feet. When we moved into the channel, the wind was blowing one way and the sea was running in the opposite direction, producing a situation which my husband described as "smoking", and smoking it was! The boat took on a strange bucking movement similar to that of a horse that didn't appreciate its rider. I was so pleased that I had placed all mobile items in the galley into the safety of the huge cupboards and drawers. My husband and I were in the wheelhouse, where all possible items — even the wheelhouse stool — were stowed away in cupboards. The waves were increasing in height. At the helm, Ron said above the noise, "I am going to turn around and go back to Prince Rupert. Hold on!" He need not have added that last piece of advice, but I was not aware of the possible danger.
Psalm 107:28 – Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. (NIV)
When a massive wave held back for a moment, Ron swung the wheel. The "Old Girl" shuddered, but she responded immediately, and the bow began to rise up to meet the oncoming wave. We did take on a tremendous amount of water, but because of the angle of the boat, the water quickly washed over the deck.
Psalm 107:31 – Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. (NIV)
As I look back at this event, I see that only later did I realize what I didn't understand at the time: we truly are in God's hands, even when we are not aware of the danger. It does not matter from where the danger arises, He is, indeed, right there beside us, guiding and watching over His children. Going forward through our lives, such a realization should serve to strengthen our faith in God's loving care, as it did mine.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, may we always have the courage to accept the task which You softly whisper into our heart and mind to do in order to extend Your kingdom in some small way. Throughout our lives, build our confidence that the safest spot to be is obeying Your will, especially when preparing for the impossible. We pray in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our Saviour. Amen.
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