One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out,
and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.
And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm.
He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
“I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.
Jon 2:3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me.
We know the thanksgiving of the disciples in the first verses above, they were grateful they weren’t drowned and that the killer storm had disappeared, merely by a word from the Lord.
And Jonah, now he was in a tight place certainly, and his thanksgiving is obvious as well, that the fish threw up giving him his freedom. In both instances prayers were answered out of phenomenally dire circumstances. If you can put yourself in their shoes, or sandals, there seems certainly no escape from their plights but death. Yet, out of the hopelessness came great surprise! Something for which to be thankful.
My own thanksgiving involves nothing so dramatic but still psychologically stressful, at least to me. I’m two days into a seven day AOG (aircraft on ground) On-Call period where I can get awakened in the middle of the night by someone urgently needing aircraft parts. This may sound to you quite harmless to you. But unless you have been in this situation you won’t be able to empathize; but believe me this duty is universally despised in our department. To be awakened out of deep sleep in the middle of the night to answer an urgent call to place an order for an aircraft part with which you are not familiar with a supplier and details and contracts of which you are not familiar is not a comfortable position. And I am already in a fragile mental state, from being stressed out at work anyway! So I’ve been praying fervently that I don’t get any calls. And these first two nights our Lord has graciously answered my prayer!
So I can understand how the disciples felt being tossed about in a small boat on a huge lake with the wind whipping in circles, a soaking, blinding rain driving through their clothes, waves crashing over the sides of the boat filling it up. No wonder they were freaking out! And me, who knows how many weird phone calls I’m going to be getting trying to figure out how to get part from one end of the world to the other for frantic customers desperate to get their planes back in the air, all depending on me to push their parts.
Getting no calls all week is something extremely rare, especially in such a busy time like this. But I know that if the One who designed Quantum Physics, Who constructed nuclear fission from its foundational building blocks, designed and build the universe we see around us, and, oh yeah, calmed the wind and the waves, if He could do that, then rearranging jet parts requirement, logistics and deliveries and requirements should be quite elementary, right?
So I have been praying a lot since I got the On Call laptop Monday.
Now James says let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 And says in Hebrews 11:1 faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Well assuredly I have been hoping for not getting any phone calls. So that sure sounds like it fits the verse. The depth of my thankfulness is boundless, you can’t imagine. I kept waking up and praying and thanking God for His grace and faithfulness and kindness. And in the morning I repeatedly thanked God for His loving-kindness, feeling the sense of relief the disciples must have felt when the boat stopped rocking and the showers stopped and calm was restored. The sense of peace that would have prevailed, because I could feel it too. Ahhhhh.
Will our Lord continue to be so gracious and keep the phone from ringing tonight, tomorrow, and so on? I’m grateful to know this, that it does not depend on me, that His graciousness is His divine gift of surpassing beauty and is utterly incomprehensible. See So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. Romans 9:16 And, Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27
And I know that He can, He has that kind of love and power. There are lots of verses that show His concern for His children and that they should be persistent in prayer ( Luke 11:8) (Luke 18:1-5)
So on this Thanksgiving eve I thank God for the last two night of calm and peace, and His protection. He is gracious and merciful and a loving Father. Thank You Lord! I just can’t thank You enough!
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]