Buffeted by Waves and Storms
Many moons ago, when I was still very much wet behind the ears, I was given the great opportunity to see the world as a member of a flight crew while serving in the USAF. While we traveled the globe, most of our missions were to Southeast Asia in support of the war effort there.
One of the places we stopped for mandatory crew rest on our way west over the Pacific was Wake Island. Wake is an island in the middle of the ocean with plenty of places to explore and for an 18–19-year-old lad it was really neat. I was able to spend 1-2 days there every month. Wake Island is an atoll and a very good example of one, with a large quiet lagoon in the middle of the island and an active coral reef surrounding it. At the time, 1970-1972, the fact that it was an atoll meant very little to me. Later, while studying for my degree in geology, I learned much more about the formation and growth of atolls. The island only grows and is alive on the outer edges where the coral is buffeted by waves and storms, but this buffeting of strong waves brings nutrients needed for growth. In the quiet, peaceful central lagoon, the sand is made of old dead coral. It is peaceful but there is no life because there are no waves to bring in nutrients.
As much as we dislike trials and challenges in life, they are often used by our Lord to strengthen us and cause us to grow. This was brought to mind at our last CTL banquet planning meeting when John Penrose shared the story of a young lady who we have had the privilege of watching grow up in India (pictured below on the left). She came from an unbelievable background and even after she was brought to Berachah she has lived through many physical trials. We learned she just graduated from Pharmacy school. Examples like this have occurred in the lives of kids with many of our partners and it always amazes me how the Lord takes these lives, buffeted by the world, and turns them into something beautiful and useful. Keep them in your prayers always.
- David Inlow, CTL friend