War, tragic accidents, those presently in intensive care and isolated from those they hold dear – all things that cause anxiety and heart-ache for those who hope, pray, and wait for their return. May God grant peace and comfort to all who wait, and in His mercy grant joyful reunions. Amen.
The most prolific images of my wife, Dianne are of her with a cup of tea. It may be that it is because a hot drink together while on an outing provided a great chance to take a photo. But, I think there is more to it than that. The warm comfort of a cuppa really helped her in her illness. It was a bit of normality in the uncertain life we were then living.
In 1861 the lyrics: “Eternal Father, strong to save,Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,For those in peril on the sea!” appeared. They were based on William Whiting’s experiences and themed on Psalm 107.
For those of us who have lived at sea, it is easy to understand the comfort of knowing even this vast power (the sea) is under the control of God. Many people have never seen the ocean’s raw savageness, but it is beyond awe inspiring (and frightening).
Yet, in Mark 4:35-41 Jesus calms a storm at sea. “35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him! (NIV)”
God in His compassion can see our storms, literal and figurative. He has the power and the will to calm the waves, and still the fury of what buffets us.
Lord, today please protect those at sea, but also still our storms as well.