Adrift in the Storm

The storm had the quality of chaos that melts one’s courage. Where the orderly world once existed—and the illusion of control—there was the unhinging of helpless terror. Had they ever been ripped by a wind so strong? The boat spun and bucked on the waves like a piece of tree bark, tiny in the midst of the powerful squall.

“Look!” one shouted, and they all swung to follow his outstretched hand, pointing toward the horizon. There, in the maelstrom, a pale smudge was conspicuously still. And approaching. “A spirit!”

Suddenly drowning in the storm was no longer the worst that could happen.

“It’s the Master!” cried Peter.

“Impossible,” called Thomas, securing one of the useless oars with coarse rope.

Before anyone could argue, the wind whistled away from them, leaving only a whisper of a breeze that lifted their hair and flipped up the edges of their tunics as it, too, departed. The figure drew nearer—not in the water, but on it. Their feet stuck fast to the planks of the boat, bodies frozen in fascination.

“Lord,” Peter shouted, his voice cracking beneath the strain, “if it’s you, tell me to come out to you!”

“Simon!” hissed Andrew, making a grab for his brother’s arm. “Don’t be a fool.” He risked a glance at the approaching form. “Whatever he is, you’re only a man.”

“Come,” said the voice they all knew so well, calm and measured in the quiet night.

“No,” said Andrew, but Peter shook off his restraining hand and gave him a practiced, rough shove.

He threw one leg over the rail, then the other, perching for a moment. The lake was eerily calm, smooth-surfaced as water in a wash basin. Raising his gaze, he could barely make out the Master’s features in the soft dark. He held his breath and dropped to the water.

That moment would be the hardest decision for me.

When I’m afraid, I try to cling to some scrap of the illusion of control.

As he released his grip on the solid, weathered wood of the boat, Peter was suspended for a moment in mid-air, caught between the known and the unknown. Adrift in faith.

And that’s the time we’re most vulnerable but most alive. Will we sink or swim? We don’t know the answer, but are certain to find out in 3… 2… 1…

I’m so grateful our Lord won’t ever let us drown, won’t ever leave us to figure it out or try to save ourselves.

[tweetshare tweet=”I’m so grateful our Lord won’t ever let us drown, won’t ever leave us to figure it out or try to save ourselves. ~ Cole Smith” username=”grace_and_such”]

No matter how hard I struggle to control the storm, control the boat, control the unknowable deep, I always end up face-to-face with the same conclusion:

I can’t, but He will.

And as I grow in Him, I notice I’m able to release my grip a little easier each time. I feel gravity’s pull, hold my breath, brace for the impact. Trust.

When have you trusted in God’s grace even in seemingly impossible circumstances?


Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Cole Smith
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  1. Sarah on October 4, 2018 at 10:24 PM

    Usually, when I feel pushed back into a corner with no way out, that’s when I mentally freak out. But I want to grow, as you have, and not allow those forces of doom and gloom to overtake me. Trusting in the One who knows my tendencies towards freak-outs. 🙋🏼‍♀️

    • Cole // Cole Smith Writes on October 12, 2018 at 2:32 PM

      I freak out, too! I’m starting to learn to listen for the call of adventure, though… I’m so proud of your hard work! Your memoir is written in tears and love, and is going to inspire so many <3

  2. Diane Tarantini on October 9, 2018 at 2:33 PM

    Beautiful post, Cole.

    I trusted in God’s grace recently as my mother was passing from this world. One night as I drove I-79 from Morgantown to Bridgeport to be with her–in the dark, in the fog, with the deer feeding so close to the road–I murmured, “I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.” At my mother’s graveside service a week later, that was the very scripture the pastor opened with. Hmm..

    • Cole // Cole Smith Writes on October 12, 2018 at 2:30 PM

      Woooow, I love the interaction with his Spirit! (Synchronicity!!) I quote that verse when I’m freaked out… He’s so good to give us those encouragements along our way.

  3. DianeK on October 11, 2018 at 7:39 PM

    Such a beautiful rendition of that moment when Peter stepped out. I absolutely loved it!

    For me, trust came recently when I walked away from a ministry that I thought the Lord had intentionally opened up for me. Through a couple years of pure torture – no joy, no peace, just frustration – I resigned. Quitting wasn’t a part of me, it distressed me greatly, especially when I thought that God had opened the door. He had, but it was to teach me a lesson I had been purposefully avoiding (years, that’s me!). But when I stepped out, and made the call, the peace God washed over me was incredible. And the lessons learned were beyond what I could have ever learned by staying in the frustration. God is so good always, but when we trust him with something hard he also so clearly shows his faithfulness!

    • Cole // Cole Smith Writes on October 12, 2018 at 2:28 PM

      Diane! This reminds me of a story from Dan Miller’s “48 Days to the Work You Love”. A pastor was working like crazy, even picked up a paper route in addition to a second job, just to make ends meet. His health suffered, and his relationships with his family. Then the church didn’t renew his contract. He was so devastated because he knew he was called to the ministry. He then went in a completely different direction: painting designer murals and effects in high-end homes. He found people opened up to him in ways they never had when he was The Pastor. And he was leading people to the Lord, seeing the fruit he’d longed for in his traditional ministry position! I’m so happy you’re finding relief, room to breathe, and precious peace. Thanks for your testimony, it made my morning!

      • DianeK on October 13, 2018 at 9:20 AM

        Cole – I wish there was a little ‘like’ button on these comments cause I liked what you wrote!! Thanks

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