A Pillar on the Sea

▪ Have you ever seen a waterspout? One formed off the coast of Tahiti on December 25, 2005. The long funnel of whirling wind and water between the sea and the sky lasted for about 30 minutes. Then it slowly turned white and disappeared.

Waterspouts are sometimes called tornadoes over water, but they are usually weaker than tornadoes in their intensity. They generally last about ten minutes, although some have continued for an hour. Because they develop at sea, their detection usually depends on chance observations. This makes it difficult for meteorologists to understand them fully. According to reports, they may make a loud noise, similar to that of a freight train.

When describing his emotional turmoil, a Bible psalmist of ancient times wrote: ‘Watery deep to watery deep is calling at the sound of your waterspouts.’ (Psalm 42:7) Although we cannot say that this type of waterspout is what the Bible psalmist was referring to, his feelings might well have been depicted by this phenomenon. He said that his soul was “in despair” and was “boisterous” within him. Yet, he drew comfort from his God. “Wait for God,” he declared to his own soul, “for I shall yet laud him as the grand salvation of my person and as my God.”​—Psalm 42:11.

Just like the psalmist, we may experience afflictions that can be compared with a tornadolike whirlwind over the sea. But if we wait for God, he will prove to be the grand salvation for us.