Life’s Perfect Storms

On Sept. 20, 1991, a boat known as the Andrea Gail left port in Gloucester, Mass. for the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Meanwhile, storms were brewing off the coast. Two weather fronts and a hurricane were colliding. It became known as The Perfect Storm. Life on the sea can serve as a worthy metaphor for the life of a Christian. Life can become a tumultuous sea. Several things can crash upon us at once like a giant rogue wave. We can easily become terrified, anxious and feel doomed. What are we to do? Please read more…

The six man crew of the Andrea Gail intended to catch their fish and return home to their families with money in their pockets, but the forces of nature became their arch enemy. Winds whipped across the sea at 70 miles per hour. Waves swelled to over 30 feet. The ship succumbed to the ravage of the storm.

After the storm hit, the six man crew of the Andrea Gail were never heard from again. On November 6, 1991 the ship’s emergency beacon washed ashore on Sable Island off the coast of Canada. More debris turned up, but the crew was lost at sea. In 1997, Sebastian Junger eventually told the story of the shipwreck in his book entitled The Perfect Storm. In 2000, it was adapted into a movie with the same title.

In Mark 4:40 the Apostles, with Jesus in the boat, encountered the fury of Mother Nature. According to the Gospel account, “a violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.”  The Apostles were terrified.

There are times when we can begin to feel Job-like. Bad things seem to pile up around us. The storms we encounter toss our boat and the waves fill it with water. As we begin to sink, we can become frightened and fear the worst.

What storms are you experiencing in your life today? Have multiple different issues collided together to create a perfect storm for you? One issue alone may seem overwhelming. Two struggles in life at the same time may seem insurmountable. Three or more happening together may cause you to lose hope and feel as if all is lost. What can you do?

When the seas of life are calm, it is easy for us as Christians to be secure in our faith. When a small squall comes along we may quickly place our trust in Jesus. When several things hit us at once and the tempests of life develop into the perfect storm, we often lose the trust we once had.

As you look around the world you might be frightened to see that Christianity is under attack. Concurrent with this attack, you may be experiencing upheavals and change at your local church. Perhaps your Christian community is going through a change of pastors. Maybe there is strife and disharmony among your parish leadership. Maybe your church is fracturing over one of the many social issues of our day.

Now, throw on top of all of the above storms, some of your own personal issues. Maybe you are dealing with your own health issues or those of a loved one.  Maybe you have lost your job. Maybe you are dealing with family or marital strife. Perhaps you are overwhelmed by grief. This list could go on and on.

Each of these struggles by themselves can be challenging at best. When they collide together they create a Perfect Storm. Let’s go back to Mark’s Gospel to see how things turned out for the Apostles.

Jesus was sleeping through the storm when the frightened Apostles woke Him and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” At that, the wind ceased and there was great calm.  Then Jesus questioned His Apostles. ““Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” “They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”” Mark 4:41

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Do not worry.” He then asked, “How many of you by worrying can add a single moment to your life-span?” The Bible records 23 times that Jesus used the word ‘peace’. It has been said that Jesus said “fear not,” or, “Be not afraid” 365 times. Isn’t that an interesting coincidence?

Jesus is the source of all peace. Life’s storms will challenge our faith. They put to test our trust in Our Lord. With a breath and a few words Jesus calmed the sea. All may have seemed lost for the Andrea Gail. Christians know that all is never lost. Even death cannot claim victory over us. We must have trust and we must never forget that Jesus is always in the boat with us. 

Heavenly Father, I know without a doubt that Jesus is in the boat with me. Help me to always have trust and to know that He can calm the storms of life. Amen!

As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.

Brian Pusateri
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  1. Kathleen Mungavin on July 20, 2019 at 5:10 am

    Since we are comparing storms, I’m sure people have asked why did this happen to the fishermen that left that day for Newfoundland. Why would they feel anything would go wrong I never saw the movie I do believe they were men of faith. I’m not blaming God. I never do, it’s just that these questions are always asked.

    • Brian Pusateri on July 20, 2019 at 5:47 am


      It is one of the oldest question on human minds, “why does God allow bad things to happen.” We can never forget that God created a world where bad things didn’t happen but through original sin man rejected that world. We now limit in a very broken world where bad things happen all the time. Why is a question that almost everyone asks. One day, we will know.


    • Marie A Berberich on March 30, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      Maybe it was just their time. No one can say that they were all meant to live to be old men. That is what everyone would have liked; indeed, if they had all been on shore, they could have met their ends in other ways. My best friend was shot in the head by her husband and died 12 hours later. This was in 1978 and she was only 22. She and her husband had a 2-year old baby who was also killed during the melee.

      I am a follower of Jesus and I have to have my trust in Him. I can’t tell you how many times He has saved me from death, including multiple times I have had a gun to my head … and lived. And been a near victim of the Son of Sam on January 30, 1977. A car came from a side road as he was creeping up to our car. We never heard anything. He only ran when the car’s headlights shone on him. At that time, the police had not yet realized they had a serial killer on their hands. My boyfriend and I drove off and didn’t realize anything at that time. A half hour later, a girl who was sitting in her car with her boyfriend a block away from where we had been.was shot in the head and killed. It came out later that it was the Son of Sam. Why was I spared? Why did she have to die in my place? She was only 26 and engaged to be married to the boy she was in the car with. No one can answer the question of why some have longer lives than others. As a friend of mine always said, “God is Sovereign.” Meaning He rules over us all and He decides and we have to trust Him in His overall plan. I lived in Africa for some years and one thing I heard from them over multiple countries is that we must always praise God for both the good things and the bad. That last part is really tough. But it is part of loving Him and trusting Him.

  2. Sue Wilkin on July 16, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Thank you for your weekly reflections. Today’s especially spoke to me. 365 times… wow!

    • Brian Pusateri on July 16, 2019 at 10:51 am


      Yes I thought that was cool too. 365 days a year and 365 times we are told BE NOT AFRAID. I guess that is a direct correlation to “give us this day our daily bread.” Each day we just need to trust in Jesus and realize that He is our daily nourishment.


  3. Michael T Schaefer on July 16, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Thank you!
    Your reflection took me to hearing Jesus in the boat saying to me. “Be Still “. Like in the scripture passage he calms the sea & the nerves of the disciples. Will I meet Him at His word & allow Him to calm my own fear & anxiety?
    God bless

    • Brian Pusateri on July 16, 2019 at 9:27 am


      You are so right. Believing that Jesus calmed the seas with the Apostles in the boat is one thing but trusting in him to calm the seas of our life requires much more faith!


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