Susan Ellis

John 6:16-27

 “A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.” (John 6:18)

We have all been there. Times when we have had to deal with extremely stressful situations.  I recall one such time in my life.  Growing up, music was not only a huge part of my life, it was a necessity!  My father, sisters and I were very active in the music ministry of our church.  We played hand bells and sang in the choir.  We also had the occasional  chance to sing at a function in the community.  When I was 5 years old, my father scheduled us to sing at a Lion’s club function.  I remember practicing and practicing for this performance.  We had chosen to sing Peter, Paul and Mary’s version of “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore”.  My sisters and I were each assigned a verse to sing. On the evening of the performance, as we all stood in front of the group of men, my father started playing his guitar.  We all joined in unison singing the first verse.  My sister, Lynne, had the second verse to sing, which she did beautifully.  Then it was my turn to sing.  “The river Jordan is chilly and wide, Hallelujah. Milk and honey on the other side, Hallelujah.”  The only problem was I never made it to the other side.  I stood frozen, forgetting all of the words. I never uttered a sound.  Yes, people laughed as they all thought it was so cute. Remember, I was only 5 years old and extremely shy.  Everyone kept singing though and the performance finally ended.  I immediately ran out of the room sobbing from embarrassment and reeling from the fact that I had let my family down.  Who was there to comfort me…my father.  He gently wiped away my tears and held me close saying that it would all be ok.  I will never forget that.


Fast forward 80 years.  I am now sitting at the bedside of my ailing father, knowing that he did not have much time left with us. The family knew that music would have a soothing effect on Dad, so we joined together to gently sing Amazing Grace once more….for him….for us.  I found myself sobbing again but this time it was my Heavenly Father who picked me up to wipe away my tears, to hold me close and comfort me.

Yes, there are times in our lives that the winds will blow and the seas will rage, but Jesus will always be there to bring us through.   All we have to do is lean on Him and He will calm the raging storms.


Prayer:  Lord, help us to remember that in our most trying times, peace comes from our relying on you. Give us strength to face each day with a renewed faith in you.  Amen.