On the Ocean at Midnight

In 1997, my wife, Nancy and I found ourselves in an open boat traveling between two small islands in the South Pacific. We were on our way to a meeting in which I was to preach that evening. It was an open boat, about eighteen feet in length. A man at the stern steered with the outboard motor, while a man in the bow leaned over, watching for rocks. (These waters were known to be treacherous and rocky.) After about an hour on the ocean, we arrived safely at the island and I preached in the meeting. About midnight, we finally boarded the same boat to head back to the island from which we had begun our journey earlier in the day. God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah to remind the children of Israel of His faithfulness during their exodus from Egypt. Isaiah 43:16 (NLT) tells us He said this. “I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea.”

On our boat ride back that night in 1997, it was pitch dark, even though the stars covered the sky. This time, a different man took us back. He was very old. He was alone with us in the boat. Nobody was in the bow to watch out for rocks. Our hosts on the island had assured us that the old man was so familiar with the sea that he did not need anyone to watch out for rocks. Well, following much intense prayer, he delivered us safely back to the dock on the island where our hotel was. Every time I reflect on that dark journey across the ocean, guided by that old man, it provides me with a living picture of God’s ability to guide us safely home. God always knows the ways in which He takes us. He will faithfully get us safely through the rocky waters of life and on to our destinations. Reflect on when He did this for you. Now, reflect on the assurance of His presence today.

On the Ocean at Midnight