“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” Mark 4:39 (NIV)
It is summer, a time of travel. I don’t know if it is much practiced anymore, but prayer before travel is certainly appropriate. Though today we go from place to place with little effort, most of us can remember travel, at one time or another, being at least a little treacherous. At some point we have all been like the disciples in the small boat. And indeed whenever we go over vast distances, or even the small ones, it is hubris to think we do not need to be in God’s care.
To need God’s protection is certainly true of all life for whether we are traveling in actual space or through the course of our lives, we or someone we care for are always in peril, though it is in our nature to wait for the raising tide or air turbulence to bring us to prayer.
Today at church we sang Eternal Father Strong to Save, a hymn asking for God’s protection on the sea that was commonplace to most of the military families I grew up with and one that I suppose many know from the movie Titanic. There are actually many versions of this hymn calling on God’s protection not only on the sea, but on land, in the air, and even in space.
It is the time of year when we travel. Some will go great distances through the air to distant lands, some will sail on lakes or oceans, others will drive to cities, mountains, beaches, and parks to engage in summer play. Many others still will simply travel from day to day with all the perils that even that brings. It is the time of year we should remember prayer and also that we have a heavenly Father who is “strong to save.” He has given us His Son that we should see the turbulent waters of our own lives calmed by the waters of our baptisms. He has given us a love so strong that neither our bodies or our salvation should know peril.