March 21, 2022

A Great Wind

Jonah 1:1-17

The Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

—  Jonah 1:4

Despite many advances in technology, seafaring is still dangerous today. In the past 10 years, more than 1,000 large ships have been lost worldwide. We often don’t hear about these shipwrecks in the news unless they affect our own country or region. Many of us in North America, however, heard that the United States-flagged cargo ship El Faro, on its way to Puerto Rico, sank at sea with all 33 crew members on October 1, 2015, after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin.

The prophet Jonah boarded a ship heading for Tarshish, a destination as far away as he could go from where the Lord had sent him to preach—in Nineveh. But despite Jonah’s rebellion, the Lord brought him back in the right direction. God sent a storm that threatened to wreck the ship until Jonah was thrown overboard. Then, as the storm quickly cleared, the sailors worshiped the Lord, and God sent a huge fish to bring Jonah back to dry land.

This story shows the amazing power of God—not only over nature but also to bring repentance and salvation. God turned Jonah around and brought him to preach a message of grace to Nineveh. And the people there repented and were spared from destruction.

Have there been storms in your life that God has used to bring repentance and faith?

Lord God, we ask for forgiveness, for we have sinned against you and our neighbors. We look to you in the storms of life to build our faith in Christ. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema and David Rozeboom

Dr. Jason Zuidema is executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association ( and an elder in the Église réformée du Québec. David Rozeboom serves as chaplain at the Montreal Ministry to Seafarers of the Christian Reformed Church ( The authors thank Kevin Walker, NAMMA director of programs, for editorial assistance.

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