After my brother and I moved out of the house, my dad bought a boat. My brother used it for water skiing and I used it for fishing.
On one of the fishing trips my two boys, their two friends, and a friend of mine were fishing a fairly large lake. The kids were young; seven to ten years old. My mother and wife were with us as observers. We were catching fish. At dusk as it got colder and began to drizzle, we decided it was time to go. There was only one other boat on the lake within sight. I hit the ignition and the boat wouldn’t start. The battery had died.
That’s the closest I ever came to being shipwrecked. When that boat wouldn’t start, my adrenaline started to flow. Frustrated, my mind began to spin. How are we going to get out of this? We weren’t about to perish, but for the captain of the boat (me) it became stressful. Kids were cold. The women were getting wet! Thankfully, by the grace of God, the only other boat that we could see helped us get back to the dock.
Danger on the high seas
What we experienced was nothing like what the apostle Paul experienced on his way to Rome. We had a dead battery. He was on a ship that was about to be torn apart by a hurricane. The crew undergirded it with cables (Acts 27:17). That action became known as frapping. They wrapped the ship with cables to help hold the timbers together so it wouldn’t be broken apart by the wind and the waves. It was a scary time for even seasoned sailors.
Do you have cables for the storm?
The Greek word for ‘cable’ is the same word used in Hebrews (4:16) for ‘help’. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help (cable) in time of need” (Heb. 4:15, 16). God’s grace and mercy will help us like those cables on a sinking ship.
Storms always come
When they began to sail the sea was calm. But not long afterward a tempestuous wind began to blow. Trouble came. And it lasted for quite some time – weeks! It’s the same way with us. God doesn’t remove the storms of life. He allows them for the purpose of growing us spiritually.
Getting through the Storm
We usually try to figure a way out of the storm immediately. We generally don’t like storms. We want smooth sailing. But God has not promised us smooth sailing. He promises us that He will be with us through the storm (John 16:33).
Who do you seek in the Storm?
When your ship is falling apart, when troubles are coming your way, do you go boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need? King David did. He said, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:4).
He will do the same for you and me, if we’re willing to trust Him; if we are willing to come to Him to find mercy and grace to help in the time of need. If we do, His cables will hold our ship together through the storm.
“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul” (Ps. 138:3).