When the logs are blazing in the fireplace, the chair is deep and comfortable, and one is sipping a cup of one’s favorite evening tea, chocolate, coffee, or herb-tea, a wild wind howling around the house or moaning through the eaves can be a very pleasant sound, emphasizing the comfort and security of the snug little spot. And later, in a warm bed, with the prospect of deep and peaceful sleep ahead, the shriek of the wind, the rattle of the shutters can be a lullaby. The slash of rain against the windows makes the blankets feel cozier. If the wind seems to be blowing in two directions at once, it doesn’t matter; the feeling of being protected is only more vivid.

Strong wind frequently changing direction and driving rain are a different thing if one is in a boat that pitches and rocks with sickening creaks of the wood as if it were about to split in two. If it is a small, open boat and the waves are washing in, fear and not pleasure is a natural response to such a storm. The little ship in which the disciples were riding was being driven to and fro by a “contrary wind.” Can’t you imagine the chill of wet skin and clothing as the wind whirled around the men, destroying any possibility of directing the ship and threatening to overturn it? Then suddenly the men caught sight of a form coming toward them. Can something be going wrong with their eyes? No, it is a man—but it can’t be! It must be a ghost! Perhaps their teeth chattered with something more than cold as sudden terror was added to their natural fear, and their screams arose above the sound of the wind and sea. There was no other boat in sight, no place from which help could come.

“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” ...

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