“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 4:39 NASB
The sea was central to the life of Edward Hopper, who was born in New York City in 1816. His father was a merchant, and from his earliest years he was familiar with those who made their living on the sea.
Becoming a pastor in 1843, he spent most of his life in ministry. Particularly as pastor of the “Church of the Land and the Sea” in New York City, he had opportunities to interact with sailors from many countries. He heard their stories and empathized with their struggles. These men constantly faced danger, and they knew how easily they could go off course.
Inspired by these men and their stories, in 1871 Hopper wrote what became known as “The Sailor’s Hymn.” The title was simple and direct: “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.”
His words were a prayer: “Jesus, Savior, pilot me over life’s tempestuous sea; unknown waves before me roll, hiding rock and treacherous shoal.” He knew that Jesus provided the “chart and compass” we need. He was reminded how the apostles struggled with “the billows dark” in their “fragile” boat, sailing “on the stormy Galilee.” But Jesus came walking to them on the water, and He calmed the churning sea. As a result, “safe they glided through the storm.”
Hopper knew that Jesus can “hush the ocean wild,” just “as a mother stills her child.” Even “boisterous waves” obey His will. All He needs to say is, “Be still!” Hopper knew that these principles applied to everyone, whether on sea or land.
Are you facing a tempestuous sea, tossed to and fro by problems, fears, and worries? Don’t allow life’s storms to sink you. Cry out to Jesus! Look to Him. Listen to His Word. Trust Him. Let Him speak peace to your circumstances and pilot you through life.
PrayerDear Lord Jesus, I commit my life to You. Direct and guide me. Give me Your peace. Take away my worries. Help me to serve You. I trust You! In Your name. Amen.
Extended ReadingMark 4