Going by the ocean has always been one of my favorite pastimes. The waves and white foam can draw me into their rhythm and I can fasten my eyes attentively on them for several minutes at a time. I see them as music played out for all creation by our Creator God and enjoy every rise and fall of each wave “note” and bubbly foam crescendo. The blue water underneath upon which the waves and foam seem to be playing always gives me such a sense of enjoyment. I often look up to heaven and say “God, you made this. God you are amazing!” David said it so beautifully in Psalm 29 verses 2-4: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thundereth; the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.”

I know that the “music” of the ocean can vary between slow and soothing to loud and roaring depending on the weather conditions of the time. Ship and boat captains often depend on marine forecasts to keep them and their crew and ships safe as they cross the seas. Sometimes, though, there is a surprise storm.

A short time ago my husband and I took one of our trips by ferry to an island 90 miles west of where we live. The trip over was smooth and once at our destination, we enjoyed our stay on the island for several days. When it was time to come home, we packed our belongings to get ready to head for the ferry terminal for the trip home. It was early in the morning and as I looked around outside, I could only see a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies. Not even a slight breeze ruffled the feathers of the birds singing in the trees. As I gazed over the landscape, a song came to me. It was a song I had heard often when I worked with children in Sunday school or Children’s church. The words went. “Yes His love takes care of me; yes His love takes care of me. Though the rain falls, the wind blows, the storm is on the sea, I’ll be safe, His love takes care of me.” I wondered why this particular song was coming to me on such a beautiful, calm day, but put it out of my mind as we headed towards the ferry terminal for the trip home.

We boarded the ferry for the 1 hour and 45 minute ride home. As was usually the case, I walked the outside decks and settled in one corner of the highest one to watch the ocean play another “symphony”. The “music” was enhanced by the movement of the boat against the water making for more variations in the patterns of the wave “notes” and foam “crescendos. After awhile I left the outside decks and went inside to sit in one of the Passenger sections where the seats were comfortable, and it was warmer. I could still see the ocean through the massive windows. They went around all the sides of the room and gave a view akin to ocean view “surround sound”.

Everything proceeded as normal for the first half of the trip. Then suddenly I felt the boat begin to sway slightly. Then within minutes, the swaying became rocking. A storm had come up, seemingly from no-where. If I got up out of my seat, I found it hard to keep my balance without feeling as if I would fall over. The ferry’s captain came on the loudspeaker and cautioned everyone to try and remain seated during the storm and that the crew would come around with “special bags” in case anyone came down with seasickness. It was then I remembered the song I had heard early in the morning. God had been speaking to me, but I hadn’t recognized it. I then knew that in the middle of the storm that God was right there with me. Soon the storm subsided and we reached shore safely.

Through-out our lives we will encounter many storms. Often these storms will take us by surprise. As written in the book of Hebrews 13:5 Jesus is quoted as saying “I will never leave nor forsake you.” Sometimes we may feel like we are sinking in the storms. Sometimes we may feel as if we are riding atop the waves and triumphantly singing the over comer’s song. One thing we know for sure is God is with us always. In the book of Matthew chapter 28 verse 20, Jesus says “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” His love will always take care of us and see us through to the end.

Shirley Katz