Preparing For The Impossible

An incident that happened some fifty years ago is as detailed in my mind as though it were yesterday. The only difference today is my attitude — an attitude of grateful thanks to my heavenly Father, Who was not only aware of the possibility of danger, but provided a way out.

Psalm 107:23-24 – Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. (NIV)

It was my husband's desire to take the gospel of Christ along the west coast of Canada up to the Alaska border, perhaps holding a Bible study here and there, or even praying with someone who had suffered the loss of a family member or friend. We provided for our own support by representing sixteen companies based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Our boat became the showroom for the various items, with approximately two tons of samples. The owner of a store would come to the boat to select his merchandise, the orders would be mailed to Vancouver, and the purchases would be forwarded directly to the store owner. Each trip would take approximately three months, one in the spring and one in the fall.

We were ending our fall run and were making our way south from Prince Rupert. Our boat was sixty-five feet long, with a draft of approximately six to seven feet. When we moved into the channel, the wind was blowing one way and the sea was running in the opposite direction, producing a situation which my husband described as "smoking", and smoking it was! The boat took on a strange bucking movement similar to that of a horse that didn't appreciate its rider. I was so pleased that I had placed all mobile items in the galley into the safety of the huge cupboards and drawers. My husband and I were in the wheelhouse, where all possible items — even the wheelhouse stool — were stowed away in cupboards. The waves were increasing in height. At the helm, Ron said above the noise, "I am going to turn around and go back to Prince Rupert. Hold on!" He need not have added that last piece of advice, but I was not aware of the possible danger.

Psalm 107:28 – Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. (NIV)

When a massive wave held back for a moment, Ron swung the wheel. The "Old Girl" shuddered, but she responded immediately, and the bow began to rise up to meet the oncoming wave. We did take on a tremendous amount of water, but because of the angle of the boat, the water quickly washed over the deck.

Psalm 107:31 – Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. (NIV)

As I look back at this event, I see that only later did I realize what I didn't understand at the time: we truly are in God's hands, even when we are not aware of the danger. It does not matter from where the danger arises, He is, indeed, right there beside us, guiding and watching over His children. Going forward through our lives, such a realization should serve to strengthen our faith in God's loving care, as it did mine.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, may we always have the courage to accept the task which You softly whisper into our heart and mind to do in order to extend Your kingdom in some small way. Throughout our lives, build our confidence that the safest spot to be is obeying Your will, especially when preparing for the impossible. We pray in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our Saviour. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Sounds frightening Vena but so true.


    Vena I really appreciate your story today!


    Well done Vena. You have lived a truly adventurous life, one way and another.


    Well done Vena!
    Blessings.


    Good story, Vena.
    Blessings.


    Hi Vena
    Good message for us to take in and to trust in!


    I held my breath as I read “your” story, Verna…what a perfect example of faith!
    Thank you
    (Texas)


    Vena,
    What a horrifying event! Indeed, God was with you. Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.


    Exciting story! You’re right, sometimes we don’t realize the danger until afterwards, when we think of what could have happened. God is in control!
    Thanks for writing.


    I enjoyed your devotional. I know the scenario you describe, as I travelled up and down the inland passage many times when I was a teenager in the logging camps on the BC coast. I also remember when I was 75 years of age surrendering myself into God’s hands while I
    was receiving anesthetic for what turned out to be several-hour cardiac bypass surgery. And then realizing that I had never been out of God’s care since the moment I was born — and even before that. Nor will I ever be. Thanks for reminding me yet again.
    (ON)


    Dear Vena,
    A great devotional, based on a great story of God’s protection.
    My brother, who was a minister in North Vancouver and area for many years, was an avid recreational boater.
    A few retired ministers and their friends sailed all the way around Vancouver Island and back. At the north end of Vancouver Island, they met dense fog. They had the GPS equipment and training for navigation without the possibility of seeing where they were.
    Another time they were in the large boat at dock in Vancouver, were shocked when water began to come up at their feet. They phoned a place that raised boats to repair them, and got up out of the water in time for the leak to be fixed.
    A few of the men in a small motorboat when the motor quit. They were able to contact emergency and it was dark before they were rescued. GPS again and emergency lights were just enough.
    So my brother too, has a lot to be thankful for.
    Keep writing devotionals.


    Vena,
    Your story reminded me of a book I recently read about the Shantymen who were Christians who preached to the small villages along the BC Coastline.
    Thanks for sharing your story.


    Dear Vena,
    What a wonderful story! I’m sure you must have many more from this fascinating period of your life. You should write them down and share them, maybe even make them into a book.
    Thanks for the inspiration.


    Great devotional Vena. Thanks for sharing your adventure in Jesus.
    Yes, he is with use in all our circumstances.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for the story of your adventure on the West Coast of BC. Many thrilling and scary stories can be told by those who travel there by ship.
    My husband was the deckhand on a mission boat. At the height of winter they were travelling up the channel when a strong north wind came down the Channel. They were pounding into the waves and the water was fast freezing to all the exposed parts on the top of the boat. They were at the point of dire concern that they would become top-heavy and flip over when they caught sight of a Supply boat coming out of the Village. Being a larger boat, the supply boat came close and turned to protect them from the wind and give it shelter while the crew maneuvered a turn around and were able to head down the channel to safety.
    The minister, engineer and deckhand gave ‘awesome thanks’ to their mighty God and their friends on the supply boat.
    (BC)