When seas get stormy, put trust in captain

By Judy Brandon: Local columnist

On a family vacation during my growing-up years, our family headed across country to Niagara Falls. Our route led us to experience a ride on a ferry in West Virginia. Because we couldn’t get to the other side of the river, it was necessary for us to take the ferry.

We drove our car to the place where the ferry docked. Daddy paid the fee and then an attendant drove the car onto the ferry. The attendant tied the car down with big ropes, and then the passengers were allowed to board. Daddy, Mother, Susie and I walked on and stood at the pipe railing along with the other travelers.

As the ferry headed out onto the lake, we all tightly gripped the rail while the boat rocked back and forth with the waves. Then the boat began to rock with even more intensity. On one hand, we looked about at the beautiful mountains and stately trees that surrounded the river. On the other hand, we held on while the ferry tossed and turned us like we were out in the middle of a storm in the Atlantic.

Up high we would go and down low we would dip into the water. Sometimes I thought we were sinking. The waves slapped against the boat. Sometimes we would lean with the boat to the right and then lean far over to the left. We all got wet as the ferry rocked violently back and forth. At times we seemed doomed because the slapping of the waves against the boat was so intense.

Yet, we made it on the other side. The attendant drove our car off the ramp and we piled in the back in the car with wet shoes and all. Up the highway we headed for Niagara Falls.

Ever feel like the rough waves of life are slapping you in the face? Have you ever really thought that you were going to sink under all the troubles and hardships of life?

I am reading “Profiles in Faith” by Harold Sala. Some of the heroes of the faith he writes about were faced with terrible circumstances, but through faith and God’s protection, they made it.

For instance, there was Auntie Wang. She and her husband were involved in the early house church movement in China, and both were imprisoned for their faith. For 20 years they were separated in prison and she had little news and contact with him. Asked if she ever gave up hope, she said, “Never!”

Peter Ten Boom, the brother of Corrie Ten Boom, is lesser known than his famous sister. Yet, he endured the Holocaust and then went all over the world preaching the message of forgiveness.

Another was Lillian Thrasher who became mother to scores of orphans. She took in children in Egypt who were abandoned and established an orphanage in Assiout, Egypt, to care for them.

All these remarkable people faced hardships, obstacles and circumstances that would seem to anyone else as insurmountable. But what an inspiration seeing “ordinary people,” as my preacher father used to say, “doing extraordinary things for God!”

When I was little, we used to sing a song about the storms on life’s sea. The chorus went: “The winds and the waves obey his will, peace be still.”

It is true. There can be peace in the midst of the storms of life. We just have to trust in the one who is captain of the ship.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: