I naively asked my dad one day if the ocean ever got rough enough to be scary when he was out to sea.
“Oh yes.” He replied with a laugh.
I figured that on a huge aircraft carrier he might not even notice a storm. The few times I’ve been out on the ocean I quickly realized that the sea is not for me. I recall praying something similar to “Lord, if You will just get me back to land, I will never gripe or complain again.” He answered my prayers even though He knows I’m a liar.
My question prompted daddy to tell us a story we’d never heard. His ship was near the Arctic Circle along with a fleet of US Navy vessels. Together with the British Navy they were doing maneuvers during the Korean conflict. All their planes were in the air when suddenly a thick fog rolled in. It settled in and stayed for a very serious amount of time.
“It was so thick you couldn’t see any of the other ships. We were in real danger because planes were running out of fuel and the pilots couldn’t see to land. The captain came over the ship’s loudspeaker and called ‘ALL HANDS ON DECK!’”
“Once we were assembled, the captain gave an order. It was really more of a request. He asked us to pray. Everybody bowed their heads. Within about ten minutes, the fog cleared and planes came dropping out of the sky. You’ve never seen such a swarm! It didn’t matter if they were Brits or American, they were scrambling just to land on any vessel before that fog rolled back in. There were over a hundred planes in the air above us that day. We didn’t lose a single one.”
It’s good for us to feel helpless at times. It’s important to recognize that we cannot control each situation to our liking. It’s wise to realize that in the grand scope of things, we are actually very small. Like tiny vessels tossed in an enormous angry sea we know in our soul that we need help. How amazing that the One Who created the vast ocean has invited us to call on His Name, and He hears us! With just a Word, the winds obey Him. The waves are still. The fog is lifted and suddenly, through no power of our own, we find ourselves safely home.
The age old request “LORD help!” is a very powerful prayer. Only when we come to the end of our own wisdom and resources, can we fully appreciate Who He is. And He doesn’t even wait for us sailors to clean up our lives before He answers.
How great is our God!
“’LORD help!’ they cried in their trouble and He saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as He bought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the LORD for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them.”