Tide or Miracle?

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matt. 21:22)

When Officer Noah, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spotted beluga whales marooned in the Turnagain Arm, he flew his Piper Cub to 500 feet to get a better look.

A little west of Bird Point (Southwest of Anchorage) the 20 white beluga whales had wriggled a giant puddle in the mudflats, an occurrence often noted in beluga strandings. The mucky seawater pools kept the whales cool while they waited for the tide to return and float them free. Scientists admit that they have no clear idea why belugas, veterans of the Cook Inlet tides, sometimes strand themselves on the mudflats.

Belugas are called the “canaries of the seas,” due to their whistles, moos, chirps, squeals and clicks. They swim in and out of Turnagain Arm a couple times a day, according to whale experts. They hunt salmon migrating in the sudden, powerful tides that sweep across the Turnagain seabed.

In a twice-daily tidal deluge, (often moving at 15 miles per hour), belugas may become distracted by eating salmon or hooligan and forget to follow the deepest channels as the tide retreats. Or maybe the “wolves of the sea,” (killer whales), stalk their families, and the belugas choose to swim along seldom-used, treacherous, shoals to escape.

In either case, when the tide recedes, the whales are left high and dry where it is too shallow to swim.   

After several hours of whale watching by NOAA, the Turnagain tide carried the 20 stranded belugas back to the open water.

God had blessed these belugas with an instinct to thrash a whale-sized pool to survive in until the tide came back.

Like God’s great sea creatures, born again believers are gifted with spiritual “instincts” too. Sometimes evil circumstances leave us high and dry, and we must patiently wait for natural occurring events to lift us back to deep waters—but other times God may choose to turn nature (and our expectations) upside down… 

The Bible is chockfull of God’s miracles given in situations that could have been handled the natural way: Jesus could have purchased wagon-loads of bread and fish to feed the multitudes, rather than blessing five loaves and two fish into thousands of hearty meals. (Matt. 14:19)

Philip could have just waved to the Ethiopian eunuch and hiked off, but God chose to spirit Philip away instead. (Acts 8:39) After his resurrection, Jesus could have knocked on the door and entered, rather than materializing inside the room where his disciples gathered. (Luke 24:36)

So, if you feel trapped and floundering in any situation, pray for deliverance. You might expect God to send a natural tide of events to rescue you—but never scoff at the wonderful possibility of receiving an exhilarating miracle.


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