Thursday, August 13, 2015

Peace in the Midst of Storm

Among my collection of nautical things, I have a small picture of Warner Sallman's painting, Christ Our Pilot, mounted on a miniature ship's pilot wheel, of Jesus standing behind a young man who is piloting a ship. With one hand on the young man's shoulder, Jesus is pointing out the direction with His other hand.

Warner Sallman's "Christ Our Pilot"
The picture reminds me of my favorite hymn while growing up on the sometimes treacherous waterways of Alaska's "Inside Passage," where my uncle operated a mission boat:

Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus Savior, pilot me.
--Edward Hopper

This story that Robert Louis Stevenson delighted in telling of a ship tossed in a storm reminds me of my uncle skillfully piloting his mission boat past reefs and submerged mountain peaks rising from the sea floor: 

The sea was rough, and the rocky coast perilous. Danger was real, and the seamen expected the worst. One frantic sailor, who was laboring below the waterline, could contain himself no longer. He rushed to the wheelhouse, closed the door behind him, and stood frozen with fright, watching the captain wrestle with the wheel that controlled the huge ship.

With skill of mind and strength of hand the captain guided the vessel through the threatening rocks into open water. Then the captain turned slightly, looked at the frightened sailor, and smiled.

The youth returned below deck. "The danger is over," he assured the crew.

"How do you know?" they asked.

"I have seen the face of the captain, and he smiled at me," he said.

Just as I trusted my uncle, I know I can trust Jesus to pilot me safely when the storms of life cause me to reel and stagger. I know that if I can but catch a glimpse of Jesus my Captain's face, all will be well. He can calm my storms with His whispered, "Peace, be still!" What a blessing to be able to trust Him to bring me safely into harbor!

What storm are you facing today? Jesus wants to give you His peace in the midst of your storm. Just turn the wheel of your life over to Him, and He will guide your vessel through the rocks and reefs, the wind and waves that threaten. Let Him plot your course. He knows the way because He has navigated it before us and has charted the way in His Word.

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