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Editor's journey

In a crisis? Grab a plank

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — It was the most painful, stressful period of my adult life. Physically, my strength had waned and initial tests revealed I might have a serious illness. There were also other challenges and disappointments that seemed to be colliding all at once. My wife and I were in the throes of a storm.

We prayed as a family and solicited the prayers of close friends. But the waves of adversity continued to crash in on us. One night I went to my knees and told the Lord I didn’t think I could paddle against the tide any longer.

God answered my plea by leading me to Acts 27:27-44 — the account of the apostle Paul’s shipwreck off the coast of Malta. When the ship began to sink, the Roman centurion ordered the passengers to swim to shore. And he instructed those who couldn’t swim to grab a plank and float to safety.

As I read that passage, the Lord seemed to say, "Hal, just cling to Me. Grab a plank. Cling to My Word. Quit kicking — and relying on your own strength — and just ride the waves for a while. I’ll protect you. I’ll carry you to safety."

Shortly thereafter, my health problems disappeared and the storms subsided. All praise be to God.

Are you facing a crisis? Do you feel like you can’t go on? Perhaps the Master of the seas is telling you to grab a plank and rest in Him until your season of difficulty passes. The enemy wants you to believe your crisis will last a lifetime. In reality, the rough waters will soon become still. The storm will subside.

Psalm 107:28-30 says, "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven" (NIV).

— Hal Donaldson

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