A Quiet – and not so Quiet – Sea


The gentle lull of the cruise ship and the lapping of waves induced calmness and tranquility as we sailed north over the Pacific Ocean.  A misty sky beckoned its welcome as morning haziness met our eyes.

We awoke to realize we had slept well past the 7AM service on the ship. Nevertheless, this was the day the Lord had made, and we wanted to spend with Him.

I’ve often told Dave that I’m so glad God came up with the idea (and the command) to set aside one day a week for rest and for worship. That’s because Dave certainly wouldn’t have come up with the idea on his own. For certain, he’d not be taking an entire day off work to rest his body and his mind.

So, since God gave a command to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, we rested. We worshiped. Dave’s tenor can make any soprano sound good, so we sang this song:

author: Augustus M. Toplady – 1740-1778

Sometimes life is like that. Sailing along over smooth, blue waters with clouds above and serenity below, there are no worries or cares. All is right with the world. There is nothing on the horizon to beckon upset seas or bring on the gales.

quiet sea

Then life happens. Surges come, bringing heartache, trials, and sleepless nights. There is fear; there are tears and despair. The storm keeps coming, thrashing us about. We fear we’ve lost our moorings – and sometimes, we have! Yet, that same tempest and storm keeps moving us along the sea of life. If we allow the waves to do so, they drive us nearer to God and thereby will bring us safely Home.

Our doubts and our fears – our cries and our tears – can push us away from Him or drive us nearer.  We choose. His mercies shine through the darkness, giving light when hope seems gone. In the middle of the darkness, there is hope because we belong to the Maker of the seas.

This hymn is a prayer for a mind-set that allows the Master of the wind to be our Master of life. When we pray the words of this song: teach us (no matter what state of life we are in) to claim His will as our own, we position our hearts to experience His peace. It doesn’t happen without effort or without pain, but we can learn.

quiet sea

Thus, even in the midst of storms and chaos when the heart is breaking, we live by faith alone. When life doesn’t make sense and seems so unfair, we can continue to sail the seas knowing that our Captain will continue to pilot our ship.  When we’ve lost our faculties, there is no reason to fear, for He is watching over us. There’s no need to jump overboard and there’s no need to worry. All that we’ve experienced on these waters in the past has solidified our faith. In this crisis, we can live by faith alone.

As life moves on in its frenzy and chaos, I will remember this day. I will remember this song, and I will keep singing its message.  I will continue to trust Him when there seems to be an endless nothingness ahead. Jesus is the Captain of my soul. He pilots my ship over the quiet – and unquiet – seas.

The horizon might not be in view now, but one day – I know – we will be safely Home.

quiet sea

If you’d like to listen to this song acappella by Travelers of Faith, you can go to this link.

To hear the 2012 LA All State Children’s choir sing this song to a different tune, click here.

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