Garland Of Grace – 09.08.15

ships-wheel

Christ My Captain

And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.”  – Mark 4:37-39

A few years ago, the Lord kept drawing my heart towards spiritual thoughts in relation to the ocean.  For example, God brought to my ears an old hymn from the 1800’s titled, “Jesus, Savior Pilot Me” written by Edward Hopper and John Gould.  It says…

“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. As a mother stills her child, thou canst hush the ocean wild; boisterous waves obey thy will, when thou sayest to them, “Be still!” Wondrous sovereign of the sea, Jesus, Savior, pilot me. When at last I near the shore, and the fearful breakers roar ‘twixt me and the peaceful rest, then, while leaning on thy breast, may I hear thee say to me, “Fear not, I will pilot thee.”

It was this classic hymn that filled my heart during an early morning quiet time with the Lord as I watched a November sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico. During the same time frame, I was introduced to a more contemporary musician named Josh Garrels.  His album titled “Love and War and the Sea In Between” is an entire work with an aquatic theme in relation to our pilgrimage to God.

Yet this aquatic theme for me went beyond the realm of music. I also stumbled across a puritan prayer titled “Voyage.” A portion of it reads…

“O Lord of the oceans, My little bark sails on a restless sea, Grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely. Suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course;   Let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals; Bring me to harbor with flying pennants, hull unbreached, cargo unspoiled. I ask great things, expect great things, shall receive great things. I venture on thee wholly, fully, my wind, sunshine, anchor, defense. The voyage is long, the waves high, the storms pitiless, but my helm is held steady, thy Word secures safe passage, thy grace wafts me onward, my haven is guaranteed.”

It was a theme that impacted me greatly. And through it, the Lord has led me to pen the following prayer. I pray it speaks to you as you venture out into the uncharted waters of the new church year…

“Christ Jesus, please be my Captain. Just as You calmed the sea, calm the raging storms within me.  Help me to submit to thee like the Sea of Galilee. I am just a vulnerable vessel battling the waves and winds of the world. Though the waves are high, help me stay the course as I approach impending storms. Satan the great sea monster will do his best to toss my ship and throw me overboard. Yet help me know that You are my anchor, and that the rope of Your love does not sway in the wind.  It is secured tightly on the deck of grace. Fasten the straps of my life jacket and anchor my soul on the rock of eternal security. Though the voyage is long, chart my course through Your oceans of mercy. I long for your blood stained hands take hold of the helm of my heart and navigate me through the rough, uncharted waters ahead. You are my pilot, and You who provide the map and compass. Dear Christ my captain, steady my boat and bring me safe passage to salvation’s shore.” – Michael Eric Martin

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2 thoughts on “Garland Of Grace – 09.08.15

  1. Pastor Eric,

    Loved the poem and prayed through it for myself and the coming year. Praying for you and your ministry at 7th Street this year also! Inspiring thoughts. I love how you are molding our congregation with your solid sermons and charges to us as Christians. Keep up the good work!

    Joan

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