Tag Archives: John 14

Sailing through life

My wife and I recently went on a cruise. We not only had a wonderful time but I kept gleaning spiritual lessons about sailing through life. For the next few weeks I’ll be sharing them with you.

When our first night at sea arrived, I was struck by the darkness. As I stood on the deck all I could see, as far as I could see was a deep and total blackness that engulfed us. As I pondered this total blackness God reminded me that while I knew where we were headed, I had no idea where we were or how to get where we were going. I needed someone to lead me there – someone who’s been there before, who knows the way and knows how to get there safely. And I needed to trust them.

I then thought of some of the dark periods of my life and recalled how there was always One who knew where I was and how to get me to where I was going. He always led me there – because He’d been there before and knew the way. Each time He reminded me I needed to trust Him during the dark times of life.

The next day, as I was still pondering this renewed insight I stood on the deck and all I could see, as far as I could see, was the vastness of the ocean. No land, no other vessels – just blue, wavy water. Once again I realized that while I knew where we were headed I had no idea where we were or how to get where we were going. God was now reminding me that even in the light of day, even when I know where we’re going, I need someone to lead me there. And I need to trust them.

Then I thought of some of wonderful, beautiful times of my life – times when things went well and darkness was far removed. And I remembered that even then, in the bright light of day it was Someone Else who was piloting the ship of my life, Someone Else who was leading the way – even if I had temporarily forgotten the fact.

Then it hit me – I always know where I am going; I’m headed into the presence of my heavenly Father. But as I sail through life I’ve been reminded that it’s far easier to trust in the dark than it is in the light; it’s far easier to trust when I can’t see what lies ahead than when I can see what lies ahead. The fact is I need to trust the pilot all the time. He, after all, has been where I’m going and knows the way. I think that’s part of what Jesus meant when He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Always – whether standing in the light or engulfed by darkness, Jesus is the way. We need to trust Him.

The following hymn says it poignantly.

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me
(The Sailor’s Hymn)
Edward Hopper

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.

While th’apostles’ fragile bark
Struggled with the billows dark,
On the stormy Galilee,
Thou didst walk upon the sea;
And when they beheld Thy form,
Safe they glided through the storm.

Though the sea be smooth and bright,
Sparkling with the stars of night,
And my ship’s path be ablaze
With the light of halcyon days,
Still I know my need of Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When the darkling heavens frown,
And the wrathful winds come down,
And the fierce waves, tossed on high,
Lash themselves against the sky,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea.

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.