To begin the New Year we want to be positive so we say Happy New Year. Most of us really mean it when we say it. While thinking about writing this article I thought of an experience we had back in 1985 that showed me that regardless of the condition around us it is possible to be positive and even happy about your life but it takes faith that God is in control and that He loves you. I am going to tell you a true story that God used to show me a deeper meaning of faith. But first I need to explain without writing a book about this word faith. There are three kinds of faith to be considered,
(1) Justifying faith, we are justified by faith.
(2) Maturing faith as we exercise our faith we are matured by faith.
(3) Then there is the Supernatural Gift of Faith. All three are very important but miracles usually come by number three; supernatural Faith. Keeping in mind that God does nothing apart from faith.
Now for the story; It was 1985 we (Golden family) were living on a 50-foot twin screw ketch in the Larnaca Cyprus Marina when the PLO murdered three Israeli Mossad Agents on their boat and took over the marina for 10 days, running up and down the docks waving their guns and their regular shouting in Arabic. As far as we knew we were the only other Israelis on boats in the marina and if anyone in the marina told them that we were there, we would be dead, and we knew that many Arabs from Lebanon knew we were Israelis. A book can be written about just those ten days but I want to continue with faith for this article.
At the end of those ten days we were advised by the Israeli Embassy that we must leave the marina right away. That we couldn’t stay there because it was far too dangerous for us. They moved us to a safe house in Cyprus and we talked about our options. A severe storm had just passed over the Island headed towards Israel and the seas were very rough but we needed to move our boat back to Israel or we could possibly lose it. It was decided by us and the Mossad Agents that if I were to get in the boat and simply sail out of the marina and head straight out towards Israel without an exit visa it would be an issue. But I was assured by the agents that no Cyprus Navy would be coming after me and that my only concern was the storm. It was still in the middle of the Mediterranean and intensifying. That the PLO unit coming for us would believe we were all on the boat making it easy for the Mossad Agents to get Connie and the kids on the Israel Ferry that ran in those days to Israel. Reluctantly, and I might add, very reluctantly, I agreed to the plan.
So with all that said I can now tell you about the experience at sea that taught me two great lessons that have been so very helpful to me over the years.
After a lot of hugs and kisses and a few tears it was decided it was time for me to quietly make it to the boat and untie the ropes and ease out of the marina. The sky was clear but the seas were about 3 feet making it uncomfortable to say the least. I had with me a cat and a bird in a cage (a cockatoo). The three of us set out for a 200 mile trip in bad seas but the boat was sea worthy and I had a full tank of fuel and felt it would make the trip to Tel-Aviv with no problems. Just a very rough ride.
At about 70 miles out of Cyprus the seas became very bad with 10 to 20-foot waves crashing over the boat and getting worse. It was a force 10 storm. I saw a boat on my radar about 30 miles further out from my location and called them on the radio and asked them where they were going and how the seas were there. They responded in broken English that they were on a cargo ship coming out of Beirut and that if I didn’t turn around I would not make it because it was now a force 10 storm with waves breaking at around 30 feet. The boat was literally falling off 30-foot waves and crashing to the bottom each time I could hear beams in this wooden boat cracking and breaking. It became almost impossible to even stand at the helm as the deck was moving about 90 degrees in four directions. The wind was screaming and throwing us, the bird cage came loose and fell down into the cabin below and when I looked down I saw water over the floor boards. Things really didn’t look good for ever seeing my wife and kids again. I knew that I was blown off course and it was impossible to get a compass reading. I was very tired and worn completely out and my mind was not as clear as it should be to find a way out of this mess. It was way past praying time. It was now dark I was wet, cold and was running out of hope to ever survive.
I prayed doing like most of us do when in trouble. I began to remind God of His Scriptures and when Yeshua (Jesus) calmed the sea and I ask God to show me that miracle or He knew I would never see Connie and the kids again. It was then the first of two miracles occurred, God spoke into my spirit these words, “I would have you pray that I calm the storm in you”. I prayed again this time as God instructed and instantly my mind became clear and my whole being became calm and even my eyesight cleared and somehow I knew by Faith it would be OK. But the seas were still running under a force 10 storm. Then I prayed again saying God I have no idea how to get this boat back to Larnaca Cyprus because it has been blown off course and it was not possible to read the compass under these conditions. But He gave me the right compass reading and when I look at the compass it was stable and I did my best to set the heading.
It was 17 hours later that I saw two lights. I wasn’t sure what they were. The visibility was still very bad as the storm seem to have returned to Cyprus but as I came closer I realized God had brought that boat back to the Larnaca marina. Had I come back too far to the north I would be in Turkish waters and arrested. Just a few hundred meters to the south was a lot of large rocks and the boat would have sunk. It was perfect navigation that I don’t believe anyone could have accomplished. When I saw that we (Me, the cat and the bird) had made it, I gave thanks to God who is a miracle working God who loves us.
I was able to bring the boat quietly back up to the dock without lights, and tie her up. I left the boat and was able to get by marina security and to the safe house were Connie and the kids were packing to go to the Ferry to Israel. (Perfect timing again) The agents accompanied us to the boat and when we arrived in Haifa Israel the other passengers were held back while they got our car off the ferry and we were the only ones in customs.
My life and relationship with God changed after this, and I learned the following. Real prayer originates with God. He wants us to pray according to His Will because He knows what is best for us.
Once you have the peace that comes by way of obedience in prayer Faith becomes much easier for you. And when God imparts His Supernatural Faith you know everything will be good.
As I wrote this for you it became obvious to me that God is reminding me once again to trust Him, that He will bring the ones He wants home to Israel. That I should not be worried about what others do or don’t do. What is important is our individual obedience to His calling to bless Israel. God has bigger plans than we can ever imagine. It’s our soul we need to be concerned about, eternity is a long time.
As we move into 2020 I pray only that God’s Will be done, that when we pray we report for duty asking God what would He have us do.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for our son Joel and all the IDF soldiers. Pray for this ministry and your part in it.
Shalom, Jerry Golden