TRUST GOD to NAVIGATE us through the STORMS of LIFE: "Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters...they mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble...then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven." (Psalms 107:23, 26, 28-30)
Psalms 107 tells us the story of some sailor-merchants who were about to perish in the sea waters when God commanded the storms and winds to trouble their ships. A close reading of this passage gives us a wonderful word picture of how God allowed the storms to affect their journey at the start and then rescues them after they cry out to Him. Due to the windy storms, the waves became turbulent and their ships rocked up and down in the sea (v. 26) - so much so - that these experienced sailors were afraid that they would all drown in the sea waters. All they could do was to stagger about like drunken men as they felt a terrible sense of their own insignificance and were at their wits’ end (v. 27).
It is not surprising that these cursing, irreligious sailors pray out to God at a time like this. Scriptures provide us with three similar examples of sailors crying out to God in similar life-threatening moments, and being rescued by God thereafter:
- The first example is that of the sailors aboard the ship sailing to Tarshish as a passenger, who cried out to their gods for help when they were confronted with a great storm and their ship was about to break (Jonah 1:4-5). Obviously, the disobedient Jonah was the cause of all the turbulence in the sea, and the sea calmed down when they threw Jonah into the waters (Jonah 1:15).
- The second example is when the disciples traveled with Jesus in a boat across the Sea of Galilee, and a mighty thunderstorm arose putting everyone’s lives in danger (Mark 4:35–41). During this entire episode, Jesus was sleeping on a pillow in the stern. The scared disciples woke Jesus, who calmed the wind and the sea by just His spoken word thus proving that He was the Almighty God in human flesh who was the Master of nature (see also Matt. 8:24-27). Jesus displayed His divine power and might by controlling the chaotic sea!
- The third example is when Apostle Paul was being taken as a prisoner to Rome, and they were sailing across the seas (2 Cor. 11:25). A great storm arose that would have wrecked the ship and killed all the passengers, but God purposed to take His servant to Rome and so everyone in the ship was spared from death due to the great deliverance that God provided for them (Acts 27:14–44).
It is better for us to go through the storms of life with God on board than to have a smooth sailing without Him! However, when we are in desperate situations battered by the storms of life, we can look up to God who alone is able to calm the storms raging against us. God will calm all our storms, and He will bring us to our desired destination (see John 6:15–21).
God expects us to trust Him for guidance, so let us call upon God who is greater that our greatest problem for He alone can save us in our troubles. Hebrews chapter 11 lists many who have used their problems as an opportunity to exercise their faith and to experience God’s grace, provision and deliverance (vv. 33-34). When the storms of life approach us, let us call upon God so that He will give us enough faith to trust Him to navigate us through the storms of life!