A couple of years ago, a friend and I went out on the Potomac River south of Washington, D. C. Our intention was to go down river a few miles to a crab house, but the wind became so strong that we could not dock safely, so we decided to return to the marina. The Potomac widens to about three miles in this area so the wind has room to kick up. Our boat is a cruiser with a flying bridge and a canvas Bimini on top, so there is sufficient bulk for the wind to impact the steerage of the boat. My friend, Bud, an experienced sailor, estimated the wind at 35 to 40 miles per hour with white caps everywhere.
I recalled the story of when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee. A furious squall came up with waves breaking over the boat. The disciples woke Jesus who was sleeping, exclaiming that they were going to drown. Jesus gets up “and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” (Luke 8:24) The disciples were seized with amazement and fear, asking one another, “Who is this: He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
I said to Bud, who is a strong Christian brother that we needed to start praying because the wind would hit us broadside as soon as we started to turn into the alleyway of the marina, causing us to crash into the boats adjacent to our slip. We started praying, “Lord Jesus, you calmed the wind and waves on the Sea of Galilee; calm these winds. The wind did not abate. I asked Bud to go down to the stern with a boat hook (pole) to try to keep us from hitting the other boats. We both kept praying, “Jesus, calm the wind, Jesus calm the wind!” The wind kept blowing.
As we approached the alleyway, I told Bud, “I need to come in fast to control the boat.” I was so focused on controlling the boat and yelling instructions at Bud, I didn’t notice what was happening. Bud yelled back, “Bill, the wind has stopped!” I proceeded to pivot the boat and backed into the slip without difficulty. As soon as we tied up and secured everything, the wind resumed its fury.
There are many ways we can experience high winds in life – a spouse or child who is critically ill, the loss of a job, a life-threatening illness, a boss who cannot be satisfied, a child who struggles making friends, the backbiting of a competitive work colleague, the birth of a child with a disability, a tax deficiency notice from the IRS — the list is long and varied.
Jesus is available to calm the high winds, whatever form they take. Do you call on Jesus when you encounter the winds of life? Do you have faith that he will come to your aid?