Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

'The Perfect Storm' Sometimes Hits Our Lives

When the Andrea Gail left Gloucester Harbor in Massachusetts on September 20, 1991, and headed into the North Atlantic, no one could have known that this fishing boat would never be seen again. Only a bit of debris ever turned up, and the six crew members vanished forever. In his book The Perfect Storm, author Sebastian Junger immortalized the fate of the Andrea Gail. A film followed, but the real star of the book and the movie was the storm itself—a terrifying, relentless oppressor born of fierce wind and mountainous waves. No wonder meteorologists called it "the perfect storm."

Three deadly elements came together in October of 1991: a front moving from Canada toward New England; a high pressure system building over Canada's east coast; and the dying remnants of Hurricane Grace, churning along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Strong weather was coming from three of the four points on the compass, all of it converging on the little Andrea Gail.

On their own, warm air, cold air, and moist air are hardly noticeable. But when wind patterns force them together the result can be lethal. The last radio transmission of Billy Tyne, the captain of the fishing boat, came at 6:00 P.M. on October 28, 1991. He reported his coordinates to the captain of his sister ship, the Hannah Boden, saying, "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong."

The book and movie brought the term "perfect storm" into common usage, but the concept is as old as humanity. People have always had to deal with the convergence of multiple rough circumstances. So much can go wrong so quickly that we shake our heads and say, "When it rains, it pours."

Related Sermon Illustrations

Every Crisis Is an Invitation

"Crises of every kind will find us … [But] these crises enter our lives not just as challenges to us to retain our balance and stability, but as invitations to stretch our hearts ...

[Read More]

'The Weather Channel's' "Storm-Tracker" Describes Life's 'Real' Storms

For the past 38 years (as of 2024), Jim Cantore, The Weather Channel's "Storm-tracker," has tracked, chased, run into, and then reported on some of the most extreme storms ...

[Read More]