The long wait was over. Vacation had finally arrived. Daddy and I had gotten up before daylight that early Summer morning hoping to catch a big bass lurking in the cool depths of the St Johns river. We glided along in the gentle northbound current with each taking his turn at the oars, mostly just to keep the boat straight so the other could fish.
During one of my stints as oarsman, I became vaguely aware of a powerful throbbing hum building in the background. It quickly escalated to a level of sound that was both intimidating and frightening to a small boy. I looked at Dad expecting to see my concern mirrored in his face. Instead, I saw only the calm confidence of one who has been there and done that.
He raised his voice just enough so I could hear him over the powerful throb of the approaching tugboat's mighty engine as it pushed the barge against the current.
"Turn the bow into the wake. Face it head-on", were Daddy's words to me that morning. "Get some depth under the boat so we can ride it out".
My own instincts were to get as close to the shore as possible and hang onto a tree or a vine. Had I done so, we might well have lost our boat and perhaps our lives.
It was not pretty but I struggled with the oars and managed to get the boat turned facing the large wake of the barge and tug. The bow rose frighteningly and smacked down solidly as we passed over wave after wave of rolling water. But we made it! Had we been turned sideways to the approaching waves we would likely have been swamped.
Life is rather like that, don't you think? If we will just turn and face the storm we will rise above the very waves that might otherwise crush us. We are designed to rise above them. It is only when we turn and run that we expose our vulnerabilities.
My Dad's wisdom that day came from many years experience on the river. Listen to the wisdom of One who has gone before us and has experienced it all...victoriously.
Jesus says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Do not allow the thunder and rumble of approaching trouble to intimidate nor frighten you. Turn into it and ride it out in the deep water of God's provision!
A satisfied participant in the Grace of God,
Richard Orrell, Pastor