A famous fisherman’s prayer begins, “O God, thy sea is so great and my boat so small.” We might picture the theatrical poster of Wolfgang Peterson’s 2000 biographical disaster drama The Perfect Storm, in which a battered fishing trawler is dwarfed by a massive rogue wave in the storm of the century.
Perhaps you know the feeling: that feeling of heading, completely unprepared, into a perfect storm, not knowing whether you will emerge safely on the other side. The writer of Psalm 93 certainly knew the feeling: “The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring” (v. 3).
We are given no clue as to the specific storm that the psalmist was facing, but perhaps, as is so often the case in the Scriptures, that was deliberate. For our purposes, it is unimportant to know the specifics of the psalmist’s storm. It is, instead, important for us to know the truth in which the psalmist found comfort: “Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!” (v. 4).
Picture the rogue wave rearing its mighty head above your little fishing trawler. It appears terrifying as the engulfing water towers over your head. But as you fearfully cast your glance upward, you see something higher than the crest of the wave. You see a throne—a higher throne. And you are reminded that, as threatening as the storm might be, the Lord is “on high” and is mightier than the mightiest of storms.
Have you ever felt out of your depth? Have you ever felt that life is beyond your control? Have you ever felt like that tiny trawler riding out the perfect storm, feeling for all money that you are sure to be lost at sea? Those feelings are quite legitimate because we often are out of our depth and circumstances often are out of our control. But it is precisely when we are out of our depth that the psalmist wants to encourage us that there is a higher throne—higher than the most threatening of circumstances—and a sovereign God who sits mighty on that throne in calm control of all that rages around us.
Your circumstance might not be the same as the psalmist’s but that does not matter. No matter what storm you are facing right now, remember that your God rules over the storm. He sits enthroned above your messy marriage, your dread disease, your broken relationship, your financial crisis, and your crippling bereavement. He sees. He cares. And he waits for you to cry to him for help.
The psalmists prayed to God for help in the midst of their storms because they believed that he was able to help them. They believed that the mighty King of the universe could bring them safely through the storm to clearer skies on the other end. They knew that, while life was frequently out of their control, it was never out of his control. They knew that the creator sovereignly ruled his creation and trusted that he cared enough to deliver them.
It is not always easy to see past the storms of life to the God who rules on high, but this psalm helps us to do that. It is a prayer, says James Mays, of imagination. In the face of the perfect storm, “refocusing on the powerful, sovereign rule of our God has given and gives believers throughout all generations courage to face an uncertain world.”
I don’t know what storms you are facing. I don’t know what circumstances are out of your control. But I know that the mighty God rules over the storm and waits for you to cry to him for help. Do so today.