Storm at Sea

Jesus asleep in the storm

And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him.  Matthew 8:27

My wife and I were born and raised in South Florida. We both grew up around the ocean, so it was only natural for us to own a boat after we were married a few years. The day came when my wife made the observation that people always looked so relaxed on sailboats. If you’ve ever been sailing, you may already have a feel of where this story is heading. My wife’s observation soon grew into a desire to “go shopping.” So like a good husband, I sold the boat I already owned (which I was quite fond of) and purchased a new, bright red, 23-foot sailboat.

After a few outings, my wife discovered that she didn’t like the way the boat heeled, something intrinsic to sailboats when wind meets sail. Next, she discovered that sailing involves a lot of work. Her dreams of laying across the bow and sunbathing the days away never materialized. The final straw came on a beautiful summer day. We were sailing to a local island when suddenly the sky began to darken. I watched the clouds grow more and more ominous and suggested that we turn around and head back for shore. Before long the waves swelled, lightening flashed across the darkened sky, and we found ourselves bouncing on the surface like a cork in a waterfall.

I wish I could end the story here and say that we made it back safely and all ended well. The truth is we did make it back to the marina, but as we approached the docks and I put the engine in reverse to slow our entry, yes, the engine failed. Rather than calmly waiting our turn to dock, our sailboat crashed into a mass of other boats trying to escape the storm, with the added theater of my wife standing on the front of the bow waving her arms wildly and screaming at the top of her lungs, “LOOK OUT!.”

For sale, wonderful family sailboat, sleeps four.

Whenever I teach the story of Jesus asleep in the boat while a storm raged, I get that sinking feeling in my stomach. I know the fear of the disciples and I marvel at the calm of Jesus as He spoke to the wind and the waves. The disciples feared the storm but they experienced a different category of fear when they saw the wind and water obey the voice of their Master.


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