I remember the awe-inspiring depths of two great oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific, from my days of military service. I had learned as a schoolboy that the Atlantic Ocean had the greater depths, but the Pacific Ocean was larger. The ships that carried us from one to the other from time-to-time were not boats by any definition of the term, they were ships, ocean-going vessels designed to traverse the deep. Having completed several courses of training for service at sea, I thought I was ready when the day came for my first blue water expedition. Boy was I wrong, very wrong.
It was during one of these military exercises I learned there is nothing like a winter storm in the North Atlantic to test the depths of your faith. An early winter storm in the North Atlantic during a full-moon cycle is a sight to behold, not that I would suggest anyone purposely put themselves in the midst of one. Our ship, the length of three football fields, was tossed back and forth and I could not help but think of the works of God. How His Spirit moved upon the deep at creation and He simply spoke and the sea accepted its boundary and calm was upon the water.
I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds (Psalms 77:11-12). That particular storm motivated me and many other sailors and Marines to remember the works of the Lord as we prayed for deliverance from an evil wind and an angry sea. Our Christians lives are but a journey across an angry sea. Faith in God prepares us to be buffeted about along the way. Sometime it will seem as though there is spirit on the face of the deep again, but it is not the Spirit of God.
The Spirit of God intercedes on our behalf when we do not know what to pray for or how to pray. It is usually in moments of crisis that Christians learn this important fact after you have convinced yourself that God has not heard your prayer or is not going to answer in time. The sea was doing everything it could to find new boundaries and the wind new victims. I promised God that if He would get us to Scotland safe “I will meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.” God answered my prayer and He continues to answer time and time again.
I cannot say with certainty which prayer God answered, mine or one of the other sailors or Marines. But, what the answered prayer did for my faith in the Spirit of God and God himself was a personal victory for me. I have seen water so deep that it looks like a concrete parking lot and wave high enough to cover a battle ship, yet I could see the wonder of a merciful God in each. When we find ourselves in the midst of the storm let our prayers be that of an old Irishman: “O Lord, send us out to sea—out in the deep water, where we shall have room enough to get a glorious victory.”
Remember that we have no more faith at any given time than we have in the hour of peril. Any faith that will not carry you through the storm is mere confidence. Fair-weather faith is no faith. “To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21) Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- “Beauty From The Storm” – Wednesday, March 2 (fbcrfamily.wordpress.com)