Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CHALLENGE (08/17/17)
- TITLE: Weathering the Storm
By Francie Snell
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“Get below miss!” The captain hollered with a gruff voice. “Tis no place for a lady on deck in this foul weather."
Not having to be told twice, she quickly escaped down the ladder and stepped precariously in high heel boots along the passageway to her cabin, shivering uncontrollably. She tried to console herself. Just another month and they would be to the Port of Valparaiso. That is if they made it safely around the Cape, fighting against the westerly winds that could push them further out to sea.
"After the Cape we're home free," the captain had reassured the crew, his voice ringing with bravado, the way in which he usually spoke. His contagious bravery was what had sustained her this far. Yet as she listened to the howling wind and the relentless waves pounding against the ship, she realized it was not the captain who controlled such matters, but someone much greater.
She collapsed upon on her bed and buried her face in a pillow. Then she prayed.
“Dear God of the Bible, though I don't know you very well, could you kindly listen to my prayer? I understand in what I’ve learned is that you listen to requests, and even answer them if you find them appropriate, and asked in the name of your Son Jesus. So, what I ask you right now is that you still this storm and give us reprieve from this nasty weather. This journey is becoming so long and arduous I don’t know if I can keep going. Please Father God, just a few cloudless days without wind or rain would be greatly appreciated, if you don’t mind. Thank you.” She laid there a moment wondering if God was really listening, and then added, “O yes, I almost forgot. I pray in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Bright morning sunlight poured through the cabin’s porthole window the next day as Andria sat purposefully at the wooden desk. The slight rocking of the ship was a gentle reminder of the turbulent storm the day before. After meticulously positioning a pen, ink, and parchment in front of her, she began to write.
Dear mother, it grieves my heart with each passing day to think that everything I write to you is still months away from you ever receiving it. How I wish you could read my words the same moment in which I pen them on parchment.
Last night we endured a most fearsome storm. I felt like a helpless rag doll pitched to, and fro, with calamity just moments away. It has indeed been a most difficult journey, and I often fear we won’t make it to our destination, although the captain always assures us that we will. Then, when the sun comes out like it has today, I am greatly relieved that the captain was correct, and it gives me great hope that this horrendous journey won't last forever.
In all of this I have made a wonderful discovery. There is a God who listens to me when I call His name. He is the God of the Bible who has shown great mercy when I pray to Him. Last night, amid the storm, I prayed He would calm the seas, and He did. This morning as I am writing to you there is bright sunlight shining through my window and the sea is calm. It hasn’t been this way for many days. There is an inexpressible joy in my heart. Never have I felt such gladness.
Tears filled her eyes as she ended the letter letting her mother know how deeply she loved and missed her, more than she could express. Carefully she folded the parchment and placed it in the drawer of the desk, and walked out of the cabin.
The warm sunshine welcomed her as she emerged from the lower deck. As the ship rocked gently in the waves, she breathed deeply, feeling safe and secure, as she gazed up at the clear blue sky.
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