Sunday, August 30, 2009

Facing the Storm

This is a piece I posted some months back - September of 2008 to be exact; long before most of you moved next door. I pulled it out last week to share with Elaine at Peace for the Journey, and have since pondered it myself with fresh eyes. Afterall, how many of us have not been bent beneath one (if not many) of life's storms?
I'm not a huge fan of lengthy posts so I apologize about the number of words to this post. I hope you'll wade through them, arriving safely on the shore they lead to.
It is a true story ...
126 years ago an incredible natural disaster occurred. For many days the volcano Krakatoa rumbled and spewed steam throughout the Indonesian islands. Sumatra and Java looked on in perplexed wonder. Fear was mixed with a kind of curious awe. No one was too disturbed, nor did they imagine what was to come, including Captain Lindemann of the voyage vessel Loudon.
The story of Krakatoa and it’s Vesuvius-like eruption in 1883 is an amazing story. I watched a Discovery Channel program about it only recently, but it was the portion involving Captain Lindemann that captured my utmost attention.
The Loudon was traveling with crew and passengers destined for harbor when the eruption occurred - - the result of Krakatoa's caldera having imploded. While the vessel made it’s way across the Sundra straits, Krakatoa’s cataclysmic eruption made one of the largest & loudest noises on earth in recorded history. The blast sent the mountain into the sea, generating a tsunami so fierce it eventually destroyed 165 coastal villages and killed more than 36,000 people.
The Loudon’s position was directly in the line of volcanic fire, literally. Hot searing winds and tephra – the solid material forced into the air during such an eruption - roared across the seas with hurricane force. Had it not been for the heroic actions of Captain Lindemann, I would not be sharing this story with you today - - at least not in the form and context you'll read here.
Captain Lindemann was a seasoned Dutch sea captain. He’d seen his share of storms, but nothing to equal what he encountered in August of 1883. When the ship began being battered by pyroclastic fall-out, and when electro-magnetic air & ash threatened to burn the lungs of all aboard, he realized at once the immense peril of their predicament.

Perhaps it was a wizened sea-sense, or perhaps something more intuitive - even spiritual - that caused him to take the swift action he did that day.
Without hestiation he had the ship turned out to sea, further from the shore line. As the gales worsened, he instructed his crew to turn the ship to face the storm. He then had them drop anchor.
Once the ship was positioned he sent everyone below. Remaining alone at the wheel he actually lashed himself to it to wait out, and ride out nature’s fury. He knew what was coming.
Listen to the testimony of one passenger: "Suddenly we saw a gigantic wave of prodigious height advancing toward the seashore with considerable speed. Immediately, the crew . . .managed to set sail in face of the imminent danger; the ship had just enough time to meet with the wave from the front. The ship met the wave head on and the Loudon was lifted up with a dizzying rapidity and made a formidable leap... The ship rode at a high angle over the crest of the wave and down the other side. The wave continued on its journey toward land, and the benumbed crew watched as the sea in a single sweeping motion consumed the town. There, where an instant before had lain the town of Telok Betong, nothing remained but the open sea."
The Loudon withstood Kratatoa’s blast and the Tsunami it produced because Captain Lindemann knew not to turn his back on it. He also knew to drop anchor lest the ship be battered or moved from it’s safe position. He, the crew and the passengers of the Loudon survived because of one man’s courage.
I am captivated by this story on many levels. Two things come to mind at once ...

The power of God's word: If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:9). and ...
The power of His grip as recorded in this stirring, and altogether appropriate song ...

The Anchor Holds
I have journeyed through the long, dark night - out on the open sea.
By faith alone - sight unknown - and yet His eyes were watching me
The anchor holds though the ship is battered.
The anchor holds though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees as I faced the raging seas.
The anchor holds in spite of the storm.
I said I have fallen, fallen down on my knees
As I faced the raging seas, but the anchor holds
Oh, in spite of the storm.


Terri Tiffany said...

Each time I come to your blog, I am encouraged. I'm still riding out my own storm here and I hope I can face it head on too with my faith.
Have a wonderful Sunday!

Beth E. said...

I didn't think this post was too long...I was fascinated by the story. I hope the Discovery channel rebroadcasts it. I'd like to watch that episode!

How interesting it is that you and I both posted this song within a week of each other? I believe God's trying to get a message to people! There's a video of my youngest son, Bo, singing the song on my post...just in case you haven't seen it:

Consider yourself (((HUGGED))), Sassy!
Love ya,

Diana said...

Thank you for sharing this story!

Saleslady371 said...

This is incredibly encouraging to me at this time. Thank you, Kathleen!

Navy Wife said...

I can't tell you how much this ministered to me at this time. (I'm Carrie, Saleslady371's daughter.) I've been putting on my armor in the morning and at night, as I am in the battle of my life. I am resolved to drop my "anchor", if not to just keep standing.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Thanks for sharing that post....It was something I needed today....

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

I love how God works!

christy rose said...

"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." Isaiah 7:9 Oh Wow! Is that ever true!
I loved this story Kathleen! Thanks for sharing it.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

just takes my breath away... again!


a portland granny said...

What a beautiful earth story with such heavenly lessons in it. Every blog I have read tonight has spoken to my heart, as I just posted of a time this summer when I forgot to remember to Whom I am anchored!! I like it when I read posts that reiterate what I have been learning!

Thanks for posting this again. Wonderful story.

Abraham Lincoln said...

One of the things I learned to do, about thirty years ago or longer, was to shorter stories to one paragraph or less. The reason was that I was actually writing them by hand for publication and that was about all they would use. I do not remember the word count but it was limited. I enjoyed that and have tried to continue doing that throughout the rest of my life.

Abraham Lincoln
Pick a Peck of Pixels

Rosezilla said...

I'll have to come back and read this carefully when I have more time. I am getting ready to go to a Bible study with a group of wonderful women. I've only been 3 times, and I love it! Just wanted to come by and say hello, since I've been gone a while. So hello!

Shirl said...

Wow! What an incredible story--one that goes deep into the soul! Thanks for sharing it.

To me, it's not the length of a post, as long as it's deep as well! :)