Rough Water by Randy Rowley 4/10/09 ©


The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted three-foot seas for our late October FCS deep-sea fishing trip at Port Aransas (aka Port A).  However, when my five friends and I met Captain Ron Pierson at the dock Friday night before our trip, he informed us the NWS now forecasted four-foot seas.  Bravely (or stupidly), we told him such seas were no problem.

At 5:00 AM the following morning, Ron reported the seas would be even higher than forecasted.  Once again, we thought nothing of it and hopped on Ron’s Marlin Babe (a 28.2’-long, 10.7’-wide offshore charter boat) for our meeting with an oil platform 25 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ride to the rig was a little rough but not nearly as bad as what was to come.  It took us a couple of hours to get to the rig.  Once we arrived, the deckhand attached a boom to the rig – then a ride similar to Six Flags’ Texas Cliffhanger began.  A wave would carry us up-up-up, and then we would go down-down-down as it receded.  Although I’m no expert at gauging the height of seas, most of the waves seemed at least as high as I’m tall (6’ 1”), and many were as tall as a one-story house.

Jim McGee and I fished the port side.  The only way we could fish was to clamp our legs to the ice chests we were sitting on, hold onto the side of the boat with our right arms, and hold our rod and reel with our left arms.  If we didn’t do so, we’d slide to the boat’s starboard side, or the ice chests would slide out underneath us.

Steve Watkins and the late Tom Geary fished the starboard side.  Due to the waves’ direction, they didn’t have to worry about sliding over to the other side.

Tim Price and the late Derrich Pollock weren’t able to fish.  Tim didn’t put on his seasickness patch until we left the dock, about four hours later than the directions said to.  All he could do for the first couple of hours we fished was hug an ice chest.  Derrich, the most experienced fisherman, could only stand and stare at other oil rigs.  He was fine as long as he did so, but he would get sick the second he took his eyes off one.

We caught eight red snappers, four of which were keepers, but after about three hours of riding the roller coaster waves, we decided we’d had all the fun we could stand and asked Ron to take us someplace where the waves would be less terrible.

After another two-hour ride, we arrived at the Corpus Christi ship channel between the Port A north and south jetties.  We spent the remainder of our day fishing there.  We only caught one more fish – but it was a doozy.  Jim landed a 41″ long, 22 lb. bull redfish!  It put up quite a fight before the deckhand gaffed it.  The rest of us didn’t get a bite, but as I was staring at the north jetty, I saw about a six-foot-long tarpon launch itself into the air!  We went over to where I marked it, but it wasn’t interested in our cut bait or was long gone.

What was truly amazing was we weren’t in a storm.  Strong winds were enough to make us miserable.  I can only imagine how unhappy we would have been if it was an actual storm.

Matthew 8:23-27 describes one of the most famous storms in the Bible.  Jesus and his disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus, who had been teaching and healing people for several days, was tired and fell fast asleep.  Then a great storm developed.  The disciples, four of whom were experienced fishermen, sailors, and no strangers to storms, became deathly afraid.  They woke Jesus and begged him to save them, as they thought they’d drown.  Jesus marveled at their lack of faith and then rebuked the winds and the waves.  And suddenly, the sea became utterly calm.

There have been times when I almost gave up all hope during storms in my life like the disciples did.  My greatest trial was when Chris (my wife) was diagnosed with breast cancer.  During that trial, many thoughts ran through my head, and I experienced many emotions (fear, grief, and anger, to name a few).  It often felt as if someone had hit me in the stomach with a sledgehammer.  My trust in God – that he’d see us through the storm waivered.  I found it was much easier to question God than to trust him.

Fortunately, God’s Word has answers.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  I’m sure of three things – Chris loves God, he loves her, and he’ll cause all things to work together for her good.  I may not understand why he allowed her to develop cancer resulting in a double mastectomy until I’m in heaven, but I knew he’d make good come from it.  I also knew we weren’t alone – God allowed something horrible to happen to his only son – to die an agonizing death for people who hated God and still hate him today.  But much good came from it.

Looking back at my Chris’s and my storm, I realized God was watching out for us.  Her doctor could have very easily missed the thickened area in her breast.  The Radiologist who viewed Chris’s mammogram right before her biopsy said her breast looked normal.  She told Chris she didn’t need the biopsy.  If Chris hadn’t gone through with the biopsy, her cancer could have easily spread and become life-threatening.  Although God didn’t heal her, he spared her life.  And much good has come from it.

We must not base our trust in God on our circumstances or emotions.  We have to realize that, just as the storm Jesus rebuked was of no significance to him, our storms don’t alarm him today.

Jesus said in John 14:27a, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”  He said in John 16:24, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  God wants us to have peace and joy.  He wants to still our stormy seas and for us to experience his calm.  To attain his peace, we must trust him all of the time but especially when storms are raging in our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  During a storm, the most important things to do are to trust in God with all our hearts, not trust in our ability to understand the situation, acknowledge God is on his throne, and trust he’ll work everything to our good.  We can only put such trust into action if we stop fighting the stormy seas and allow God to be the captain of our ships.



Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

Bible Verse of the Day

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.