I'm feeling free today, and I have to admit that I'm getting a little out of control as I sit at my laptop waiting for the first WIN blog Bible Study to begin--the kickoff date is March 20th. What shall I do with all this energy? Why don't I write one of my devotions to encourage those women out there who are facing some rough times? When You Pass Through the Waters is a true incident of when I lived on the World War II ship, MS Restoration, in 1994. And, please, don't get seasick while reading!
~ I was living the comfortable life in southern California when the opportunity came for my husband and me to volunteer on a World War II ship to help transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel. Rob jumped at the chance to live on the forty-eight-year-old ship for fourteen months, but this forty-eight-year-old gal panicked. You see, I can't swim, so I had to face my biggest fear--water. Sailing from Seattle, Washington to cross the Atlantic was my worst nightmare, so I had to make the decision...comfort, or confront my fear. Comfort, or accept the challenge. After much prayer and inner conflict, I took a deep breath and dove into the challenge. I waved good-bye to the shore, and said hello to the deep blue sea.
I had gotten my sea legs by day four, when out of nowhere, off the gulf of Mexico, the MS Restoration sailed into Hurricane Hector. In a state of panic, I dropped my cleaning bucket and dashed to my cabin. All I could do was cling to my bunk. My life jacket fell from the rafter above, so I grabbed it, wrapped myself in it, and prayed as I fastened each buckle. If I had been Catholic, this would have been the perfect time to repeat the rosary. Instead, I cried out to God, "Help me! Remember, I can't swim!"
As the ocean's surge tossed the ship with a vengeance, God smiled. My Bible fell off the shelf and landed on my bunk. With trembling hands, I thumbed through the pages until I stopped at Isaiah forty-three. I tried drowning the sound of the waves beating against steel by shouting to myself, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you." A surge of peace came over me, and I knew we would somehow survive Hector.
I had read this scripture many times, but it had never given me the comfort as it did that day at sea. I love how God gives us the right words of encouragement, at just the right moment. Today when I feel a challenge coming on, I remember the sound of the ocean's mighty roar, and I quote Isaiah 43:16.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.And once again, I am at peace. ~