Do not be afraid
There is an thunderous bang, reverberating shocks fill the room, the enormous shudders are felt by every piece of the structure and its adornments, there is an eerie anticipation of what is to follow, there are no screams, just the distant sound of tables sliding across a highly polished floor followed by smashing crockery, as the whole ship lists starboard as it is again battered by the raging storm.
I am surrounded mainly by earthy European truck drivers as they mutter, grumble and groan in a mixture of incessant cussing at their misfortune to be on this ship during this horrendous storm. For 24 hours now we have been bombarded with the relentless crashing of the sea. Throwing and tossing this 40,000 tonne gargantuan with at least 50 articulated lorries on board about as if we were just driftwood.
As the bow has been rising on huge swells then crashing violently down onto the next bottom of the rolling sea, it sends vibrating shockwaves through the hull and structure of the ship that quite frankly I have only seen in movies. Not really expected on an economy ferry owned in the majority by French farmers.
I am on board the “Eretrat”, a mainly commercial Brittany ferry, sailing from Portsmouth UK bound for Santander, northern Spain. We have been sailing for 24 hours and have approximately another 5 hours to go. Brittany ferries was formed in 1974 after Britain joined the European common market and after some bureaucratic fiasco, northern French farmers were left with huge amounts of abandoned artichokes.
A French farm owner then took it upon himself to find a way to take their produce to England and subsequently hired an ex Israeli tank freighter to carry the artichokes across the English channel. And from thereon Brittany Ferries was established and it is still now owned by a majority of French farmers.
At times during this sailing I have wondered if the Captain is just a an old tractor driver ploughing on when others would have eased or not ventured out at all? There are many on board who are looking ghastly and seasick, many struggling to walk around, holding onto the rails, many wishing they had taken a different route, different sailing time or alternative transport.
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
When Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging water in Matthew 8:23_27, Mark 4:35_41 & Luke 8:22_25, He was not merely dealing with the physical aspects of a raging storm but the spiritual attitudes of man, in that it is your faith in Jesus Christ that will carry you through any storm, belief in the One who died for you upon the cross of Calvary.
Clinging on to anything other than the Lord Jesus will not save anything or anyone. The main core of Jesus teaching for us through His word today is, “Do not be afraid”! Have a look at the Lord’s words for you throughout the gospels and see how many times He commands, instructs and teaches us not to be afraid. Only believe.
So I am on my way to Portugal, near the town of Tomar, with my brother in Christ, Andrew, to start renovating a property that I believe is a Godly direction and this place will be used for His purpose and His plan. So onward we go to Santander in Spain then drive 450 mile to Portugal in my converted motorhome pulling a 2 tonne trailer full of tools ready to start the conversion.
I shall be posting more information and photos as we go.