In the world of mariners, there is a thing called “horse latitudes.” These are locations across the ocean where the winds are relatively calm. They are typically located between 30 and 35 degrees north and south of the equator. The name comes from ancient times when sailing ships would be unable to proceed along their course due to the relatively calm winds.
Tradition states that sailors gave the region of the subtropical high the name “horse latitudes” because ships relying on wind power stalled; fearful of running out of food and water, sailors threw their horses and cattle overboard to save on provisions.
The storm of this life are necessary for our spiritual progression. If we live in seasons of “calmness,” we develop a tendency towards being stagnant and complacent. But, oh, when the winds begin to blow… In the midst of the storm, we are driven to God. We are forced to seek His Word. We are compelled to pray. It is impressed upon us to fast.
Here’s the thing about storms: they limit our visibility. We are unable to see that we are making progress, therefore, we are forced to trust the Captain of the ship. We become enraptured in the spiritual battle against the storm that our focus shifts from “making it to the other side” to “surviving the storm.” Either way, the winds continuously move us toward our intended destination.
We need storms. We need harsh winds. They are the Master’s instruments which he uses to bring us to our “expected end” (see Jeremiah 29:11).