I’m not a savvy skipper. But I’m familiar with “Red, Right Returning,” or known to me as, returning home to safe harbor, from open waters. Depending which side of the boat buoys are on, determines the direction you’re headed, either proceeding to deeper waters or returning inland.
Sailors watch out for buoys and beacons in the open sea, for they provide navigation information. When you’re in deep waters, you need to know what routes to follow and areas to avoid.
I like returning to red on right, it’s a sign we’re steering shore-ward, closer to solid ground. If I get caught in rough weather, I’m safer off the surf, than sailing in it. The sea can’t offer shelter in a storm.
But I’ve come to know One who parts impossible seas, calming roaring ones, still. In fact, let’s anchor together around this story on the Sea of Galilee.
According to Luke 8:22-25 NKJV, let’s read,
22.Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”
Jesus directed the disciples to,“Cross over to the other side.” But obedience steered them straight into a squalling storm.
Finally you have a firm resolve to obey and you“launch out”, “cross over”, then suddenly, you’re surrounded by uncertain circumstances.
I imagine waking Jesus was the right course of action – the boat was“filling with water”. But their shouts remind me of Israelites questioning Moses after great deliverance from Egypt in Exodus 14:11, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?”
The disciples bellow a similar tune, “Master, we are perishing.“ Luke records them questioning,“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
In the present, Are you perishing?
I probably would of chimed in beside them, hollering, yelling and all. I squeal at thunder and lightening – on land. The sea would be another story, likely losing my voice.
But we plead, God is our deliverer, Savior and rescuer, and why would His directives thrust us into troubled waters?
Because, unforeseen battles can become unexpected blessings, as our response may reveal stubborn spots we need to yield, rebellion we need to relinquish or show us where fear resides.
From what the disciples saw, their boat, “filling with water”, they determined based on sight – perishing was their destiny, bound to drown, to be swallowed by the sea. How many times when tides of trial suddenly rise, increasing boisterous waves that beat against my boat, filling me with fear and I question,
“Don’t you care if I drown, Lord! Wake up!”
I found significance in Jesus not only silencing the storm, but soundly sleeping right smack in the middle of it. He wasn’t moved by the commotion surrounding Him or alarmed by the anxiety of his friends around Him. In fact, He remained silent, till awoken.
God may seem silent in this season, but His Word still speaks. And we have His power in us, to proclaim His Word over storms, situations and stresses in our lives.
Only faith drives fear aside. And our faith directly correlates with our trust, and trust yields true rest, like Jesus had. All snuggled asleep on a pillow, during the storm.
For God’s peace doesn’t waver, regardless what waves rage and roar around me.
Faith is what God is after, and according to Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
When the way He leads seems scary, like calling me to “cross over to the other side”, and red buoys and beacons sway beside the left side of my vessel, I know I’m headed seaward, towards deeper waters. So I buckle down, fasten my faith tightly to every scripture I can hold. Trusting He’s not only steering my sails, but directing, commanding and controlling the seas and every uncertainty.
I rather feel the earth beneath my feet, not drifting out to open sea. But sometimes deep channels are the only way to reveal my desperate need to daily abide with His Sword by my side.
Maybe like me, you need reminding today – He’s the God who can calm stormy seas, according to Mark:4:39, “And there was a great calm.”
Also, whose Word quiets the fears and roars that arise inside of you, inside of me, according to, Psalm 107:29-30, “He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.”
Have you ever felt led to launch out, to end up in the middle of an unexpected storm?
How did God’s Word meet you in those moments?
Did He command the storm to be still around you or did He calm and quiet your own heart in the midst of it?