What do college students do on a trip to California in the winter to attend a national Lutheran student gathering? They go to the beach even though it was barely above 60 degrees and the water was even colder. While trying to enjoy the ocean, quite literally I was cast into the deep when a wave crashed over my head and a riptide pulled me out close to fifty yards. As my body summersaulted over and over again, I called out for God to save me from the invisible hand that gripped me to tightly. Thinking my situation was hopeless, I simply relaxed, and a few seconds later, I was released and bobbed to the surface. My prayer was answered.  

The prophet Jonah ran away from God’s request of him and spent three days in a whale’s belly. Was God trying to send a message to me that I should have gone to the gathering first before making a pitstop at the beach? Probably not, but both of us prayed to God in a time of need and both were eventually freed. 

It’s of great comfort knowing that when the waves of life throw us into the deep that God still hears us and is there for us. Is there a wave that you or perhaps a friend or family member need to be freed from? God welcomes your prayers. 

Gracious God, at some point in our lives we all find ourselves cast into the deep. Like Jonah, may we turn to you for deliverance through prayer—especially during those times when we’ve turned away from what you’d like us to do with our lives. Amen.

Ryan Anderson, 1997, LCM Donor & Past Board Member

You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me.

Jonah 2:3