I find myself writing this month's article in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on route to Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
We have been sailing for 4 days now; with the first couple days fairly choppy and rocky (getting out of the Sydney storms and Australian waters). However, this morning we woke up to find ourselves with bright sunny skies and calm waters cruising through the reefs surrounding Vanuatu. The cruise itself took a bit of getting used at, but over time I have found my new normal (for the next 11 days or so!).
In charge of the wind and waves
Whilst the swaying of the ocean hasn't ceased entirely, I am reminded yet again that God in his vast majesty has all control of the wind and waves—no matter where we find ourselves.
Sea sickness is a very real thing for many on the cruise, and extremely thankful that it hasn’t hit me hard so far. I have, however, found myself feeling slightly fearful at times when the sea was rough, and I remembered the story of Jesus and his disciples on a boat in the middle of a storm in the Sea of Galilee from Mark chapter 4 verses 35-41.
Whilst I know the boat in those times would have been a lot smaller (without an endless buffet, gym, pools, amenities and shopping) and perhaps, a lot more prone to leaks than we are today—I can definitely resonate with the anxiety of being on a boat and being at the mercy of the waves in the ocean.
This story takes place from verse 38 where it says:
“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?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
In this example we find that, despite the lack of faith of the disciples in that moment, Jesus still came and provided for them.
Do we trust him?
I am sure that this level of faith in Jesus’ capability still occurs today.
How often have we been in the midst of a miracle, yet doubted that our God could provide or protect? (It is noteworthy that the disciples just came from the crowds that saw Jesus breaking a couple fish and bread to feed hundreds of people and possibly would have had the left over baskets of food at their feet!)
Rocky life-seas becoming calm
Last year for me was one of turmoil, growth and complete surrender in more ways than I would have ever imagined—yet I know that God provided and protected me through it.
A year later, I have started it off with a bang—a new job, a new health routine, wonderful friends getting married and a beautiful proposal from my partner asking me to marry him! I know this season and seasons to come will be full of grace beyond measure like the waves of the sea (never ceasing!) yet, will I continually trust that even if rough weather comes—I too can trust that God will provide and I have no need to be afraid?
I hope so, and even if my faith waivers—I pray that I will find solitude that even when I doubt, Jesus is there to speak on my behalf.
Meenal Chandra is one of the Sydney-based writers who is currently cruising the Pacific Islands.
Meenal Chandra previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html