Probably the scariest moments in my life would be when dad and I along with about 25 other trolling boats were caught in a storm 50 miles off the coast in the Gulf of Alaska. Fishing had been excitingly good. As a 13-year-old boy in the summer of 1962 we calculated the day’s catch and my 10% share was $100. The fitful sleep of anticipated excitement for an even better day to follow was interrupted by an unexpected howling SE gale. When I made my way up into the pilot house from the sleeping quarters below, I was greeted by a raging storm that seemed to be much bigger than our 50-foot Cygnet II could survive. She, under dad’s skilled seamanship made her laborious way to the only harbor in reach. I can remember pleading with God for safety and promising that I would do anything He asked if only our lives would be spared. Nothing would stay in its place as our boat was thrown about like a small cork by the thunderous seas. Our decks were awash, and anything not lashed down was lost overboard. Some of our rigging failed and others lost pilot house windows that long day, but no lives were lost. All were deeply relieved as we crossed the bar into the uncertain safety of Lituia Bay (more about Lituia Bay at another time).
All of us have had a harrowing experience at one time or another and the COVID-19 threat has touched nearly all our lives. Fear is still in the air. We are tentatively afraid to even go shopping but as time has gone by we are becoming accustomed to the “new normal” so to speak and if traffic is any indication, nearly all are out and about and yet we are afraid to be connecting with family, friends, and neighbors for fear that we will become statistics ourselves.
When Jesus and the disciples were caught in a ship and life-threatening storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus, to the disciple’s amazement, calmed the storm with just a word, “peace be still.”
The storm in our life right now is in need of calming. Jesus promises that He is the “peace be still” we need to accept as we deal with all the craziness of life. In Isaiah 41:10 God says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
I don’t think that God is wanting us to abandon all caution in this COVID-19 crisis but rather that we continue to practice good sanitation, masking, and logical social distancing in the weeks and months ahead. Surrendering into God’s care and protection is the most important thing we can do. The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming soon. He will come and rescue His people from this doomed planet. Accepting Him as our savior is the only way of escape.
Thank you, dear God, for rescuing us by giving us your dear Son. He gave His life for us by dying on the cross – paying the price for our salvation. Thank you for graciously gifting us with your gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This stormy tumultuous life here on earth will be cut short in mercy by Your promised return. Come quickly Lord Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen