The Power Station
First Date
May 12, 2008
T. Travers
There is "No parking" in our walk.
We may pause to refresh, to teach,
to bless.

In parking, we will miss the abundant
blessing promised for our lives and
the lives we touch
“God, if you get us out of this safely,” I’ll do anything you ask.”

These are not words you would normally associate with a first date.  Yet these were my words
spoken during a coastal storm in Maine also 30 years ago.

God’s patience and love in our lives was revealed as this memory recently resurfaced.  How often
have we called upon the name God in our hour of need?  How many times have we taken what He
has done in our lives for granted?  How many times have we given thanks or followed through on
our promises to Him?

He waited almost 30 years before my promise of “I’ll do anything you ask” began to manifest in my life.

Thirty years ago as a powerful storm tore up the New England Coast, Carol and I armed with
duraflame logs and a gallon of wine drove to the Maine coast to battle the fury of a coastal storm.
Black ocean waves pounding upon the rocks were transformed into brilliant showers of gray and
white spray that drenched our clothes and skin. The roar of the surf was deafening.  In the darkness,
we hiked out to a rocky point furthest from the coastline, the excitement of our first date was
matched by the reckless and dangerous intensity of the storm.

We started a blazing campfire at the highest point of the rock outcropping so we could see the
ocean crash upon the rocks.  The piercing light and the radiant warmth of the burning logs assured
us of our safety and invincibly in the midst of the pressing blackness.

The wine warmed our hearts, clouded our judgment and gave us courage.  We took turns standing
on the edge of the rocks yelling out, calling out into the black, howling storm and challenging it to
knock us off the rocky outcropping.

A series of storm surges forced us to find higher ground as the black surging swirling ocean waves
and white foaming spray swallowed up most of the rocky terrain.  We retreated up to the now
sputtering campfire.  The wind threatened to extinguish the flickering flames.  Darkness rushed in
on all sides. We could not determine where we were.  We peered into the howling darkness unable
to distinguish the Maine coastline from the raging waves.

A fear gripped our hearts, “What were we to do?”, “What would happen if Carol or I or both were
swept off the rocks into the surf?”  Carol was a lifeguard and I couldn’t swim.  We looked into the
darkness again to see if we could see my car parked on the beach.  The blackness was upon us.  We
froze, not knowing what our fate would be.

It was at this moment I prayed out loud “God, if you get us out of this safely,” I’ll do anything you ask.”

Shortly after speaking these words, the wind subsided and the waves calmed.  The clouds were
illuminated by moonlight.  The eye of the storm was passing over us. The moon broke free of the
clouds; its silvery light showed us the sharp contrast between land and sea.  Briefly, we saw that the
outcropping was nearly submerged.  We could make out the silvery outline of the Maine coastline.  
The car was visible on the beach and the ocean waves between Carol and I and the car was boiling.

Jesus Calms the Storm

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a
boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm
came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and
all was calm. 25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives
a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

Walking towards the car, with fear surrounding me, knowing I could not swim, I prayed again, “God, if
you get us out of this safely,” I’ll do anything you ask.”

I called back to Carol to keep the fire going, as I was going to swim towards the car, turn on the
headlights and come back for her.  Slowly stepping into the black, swirling water my vision was fixed
the car.  My heart was in my throat as I inched further into the water as the waves crashed into me.

I started to laugh out loud to Carol, when I realized that the water was less than knee deep. Once on
the beach I raced to the car, turned on the head lights and drove the car facing Carol.  Carol was
laughing and walking towards me as we meet on the beach.  

The eye of the storm had now passed.  The black clouds regrouped and swallowed the moon.  Its
silvery light faded into blackness.  The roar of the returning surf was deafening.   The height and
depth of the waves increased.

From the safety of my car, we watched through the piercing headlight beams as the surging ocean
storm waves crashed and punished the rock outcropping, before the ocean engulfed the rocky point.

Driving back home, we did not fully grasp how our lives were saved.  We would have been swept
into the black ocean if we did not make it off the rocky point.

During this week, as this memory was placed upon paper, Carol and I are realizing how our lives
were saved that night, and we are more conscious of how many times God has intervened on our
behalf over the past 30 years.

Five years ago, it was Carol who stood on her faith.   I was swept away from her, drowning in an
ocean of darkness.  As Carol and others prayed over and for me, I was pulled from those dark depths
of that ocean of despair and destruction and washed ashore by the grace of God.

Jesus states, “
Return home and tell how much God has done for you”, in Luke chapter 8, verse 30.

Perhaps this is the reason, I have returned home to Troy, to share and tell how much God has done
my life.  Carol and I invite you to stop in any Saturday night for coffee or call us if you would like to
know more of what God has done in my life and in Carol’s.

May you be blessed.

Thomas & Carol