|April 9, 2019
By Alan T. “Blues” Baker
Psalm 107 (NIV):
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
Read the full psalm.
Every seasoned sailor experiences storms at sea. In rolling darkness, their ship sways and shudders by the strength of the wave. As a Navy chaplain, I’ve been thrown from my rack to the deck by the force of the storm. I’ve served alongside sailors unable to sleep because we were overwhelmed by uncontrollable circumstances.
Throughout the past two centuries, the RCA has sent chaplains to sea. The chaplains bring comforting words of the Bible to fearful sailors. Beyond words, they bring the incarnational presence of Jesus among those in the storm. When the waves are strongest, chaplains remind sailors that Jesus is even stronger. They remind mariners who are scared and stressed that they aren’t the first to fight against the storm. Chaplains retell the story of a group of first-century fishermen, wet and wind-burned, caught in a terrifying squall on the Sea of Galilee. These seasoned sailors panic. They cry out to Jesus. Like the calm eye of a savage hurricane, Jesus brings stillness because, no matter the circumstance, he abides with his father.
You may not be at sea, but you may be reeling from waves beyond your control. Are you sinking in frustration, anxiety, fear, depression, or anger? Whatever your storm, call upon the comforter, the Holy Spirit, who will bring the presence and peace of Jesus to your anxious, fearful, and frantic circumstance. God promises to fill your cloudy sky with his bright moonbeams shining against the wave of your stormy sea.