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Steadying the Ship on a Stormy Ocean

Steadying the Ship on a Stormy Ocean

There are few things as frightening as a stormy ocean. I’ve often watched the grey waves whipped up by a storm, crashing on rocks below, from my very safe vantage point on land. I’m definitely a land-lover – solid ground beneath my feet … doesn’t get any better than that.

I suspect that’s pretty natural. We all like security. Given a choice of safety and security on the one hand … and uncertainty and risk on the other, well … it’s pretty much a no-brainer, isn’t it?

And yet often in life, you and I, we find ourselves out on a stormy ocean in what appears to be a rudderless boat.  The waves crashing over the bow, the boat filling with water, pitching violently, listing – and so often that’s the place we discover that the motor’s out, that the rudder’s gone … that we’re at the complete mercy of the storm.

In my last post – I asked – how do you hear God speak to you?

And never is the answer to that question more important than out there on that stormy ocean. Because if we believe in Jesus, it’s out there in that storm that we kind of expect Jesus to show up. It’s out there in that storm with our lives in danger of being swamped, that we need power and direction. And yet so often, it’s out there in that storm that we discover the shallowness and directionlesness and powerlessness of our relationship with Jesus.

So … what to do? How do we hear from God in that place? How do we get depth and direction and power happening in our relationship with Jesus in that place?

Before we explore the answer, can I make something clear? My answer doesn’t come from a text-book, or a prepared sermon. It comes from my experience on that stormy ocean. It comes from being in places of fear. It comes from meeting Jesus in real life.

The only way I’ve discovered to hear from God in the storm is to stop, close the door, and open my Bible.

Does that mean that God doesn’t speak to us in other ways. Of course not – the Holy Spirit is the most amazingly creative communicator. Problem is, I find it so hard to hear Him in the storm, over the noise, over the waves of fear.

The worse the storm, the more time I’ll take alone with Jesus – and as counterintuitive as that is for me, it works. It’s the only thing that does. Because there is such power in God’s Word.

So please forgive me if I’m stating the blindingly glimpsingly obvious, but I know that when we’re afraid, the obvious can be anything but obvious. 

The Word of God isn’t just that book gathering dust up on the shelf. It’s so much more …

The Word of God creates something out of nothing … which is exactly what we need out on that stormy ocean I would have thought!

… by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water … (2 Pet 3:5)

Solid land out of water … definitely what I’m looking for out on that stormy ocean. Hows about you?


  1. Hi Berni

    Thanks so much for your last couple of posts. Great encouragement. Well timed encouragement. I started my own business a bit over 12-months ago which is a great challenge. Financially and emotionally it’s very stormy. Spiritually though, it’s such a rich time as I feel left with no other choice but to seek Biblical truths and trust in them. Easier said than done sometimes, but made easier through your posts and the encouragement they provide,


    • Hey Richard,

      thanks so much for your confirmation!


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