The photo above is titled, Phares dans la Tempete, la Jument, which means Lighthouse in a Storm, at la Jument. La Jument is the name of the lighthouse and it is located in the Northwestern part of Britanny, France. I first came across this image when I saw it on a frame hanging from one of the conference rooms at my employer. I could have sworn it was one of the best photoshopped works I had ever seen. Had it not been for the name on the print, which of course prompted me to do a Google search on it, I would have dismissed it as another creative digital masterpiece. This incredible shot, which is one in a series of seven, was taken by photographer Jean Guichard, who in 1990 won second place from the World Press for the photographs that captured this incredible and real dramatic moment.
The massive waves in this image are truly awe-inspiring, however, what inspired me to write this devotion was not the waves, but rather the man pictured at the door of the lighthouse. The man’s name is Théodore Malgorne, and he was the lighthouse keeper on that dangerous stormy day back in 1989. The short clip below shows Jean visiting Theodore to present him with a signed copy of the print and briefly discuss what happened on that day.
Have you ever felt like Theodore? Have you found yourself in the midst of an emotional or spiritual storm anxiously waiting for some relief only to realize that more troubling issues are appearing and moving in quicker than you can cry out for help? Lighthouse in a Storm, at la Jument serves as a perfect analogy between nature’s furies and the unexpected challenges we encounter while still battling one of the many storms of life. The lighthouse in this photo represents the strong tower of prayer and faith. This is the place where we can always find protection and comfort in times of trouble. The huge waves represent those seemingly over-powering challenges that unfold and quickly begin to surround us.
There may be a time when the magnitude of your trial is such that you may be tempted to escape the pain by forsaking prayer and even your faith and try to find comfort in sources outside of God’s will. Doing so will only cause you greater pain because this is when you are most vulnerable both spiritually and emotionally. Instead, during this time and more than ever, you need to fully rely on the faithfulness of God and realize that no matter how unbearable it may appear your best and only hope is to be still, hold on to faith, pray and wait. Remember, after every storm, there is a calm that follows.
As you heard in the video clip, Theodore stepped out of the lighthouse because he heard the sound of a helicopter. A more detailed recount states that in fact, he and a couple more keepers had been living in fear of the deadly storm and were waiting to be rescued. This chopper, however, was there to take pictures and not to save them. Had Theodore lingered outside for just a few minutes longer he would have been overtaken by the tsunami-like surge and not live to appreciate the signed copy of “Phares dans la Tempete, la Jument” let alone become one of the most famous lighthouse keepers in the world!
Venturing out of God’s will while facing a challenging situation is actually exposing yourself to greater emotional danger and inviting spiritual disaster. When surrounded by the battering waves of adversity you will not be overtaken if you remain in the tower of prayer and faith. For it is there, and only there, that you will be most secure and protected. If you wait out the storm you will survive and you’ll be able to testify of God’s faithfulness and power to save, but if you impatiently step out of God’s protection chances are you will not have much of a story to tell if any at all.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please strengthen my faith so that my communion with you may not be broken especially during seemingly unbearable times. For in your presence is where I am most secure. Though I am surrounded by the waves of adversity I will not be overtaken because I will trust you and remain in you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
“You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. for evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see.” -Psalm 40:11-12
“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” – Nahum 1:7 (NAS)“
They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 1:19
“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” -Psalm 107:29