A Lesson In The Tempest: seeking calmer seas

Jesus, Savior, pilot me…

This past week has been rough. It’s been, perhaps, trying in more realms than I’ve yet understood.

The phrase treacherous waters has been in my head.

Not just here in my tiny cockleshell of a world, but out there, too, in all the trembling hearts and hands and brokenness of this land-ocean covered world.

I first heard the song “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” at International Justice Mission’s Global Prayer Gathering. I’d never heard it, and I was absolutely moved to stillness.

And this week, it’s come up again, these phrases in my head and this picture of the sea and the Savior covering all of it with a stride of His peaceful hand.

I found out this week that a “cockleshell” isn’t just a shell, but also a “flimsy boat”. Well, aren’t we all riding violent seas in a wobbly and unsafe vessel?

So in my own emotional turmoil, I trust.

Chart and compass come from Thee…

We’re singing it at church Sunday, and you could make big bets on me crying a little when I help lead it.

Last night, I drove the boys to the grocery store about an hour before sundown. It was blaringly bright, the brilliance of the yellow-white.  I couldn’t see the cars, the color of stoplight, where I ended and everyone else began. It covered all of us and no one could escape it.

If I ride tempestuous seas and flail in the blackened water, my hope is that the bright light will guide.

When Eliot is screaming himself out of a nap and I’m crying  my way into his room, there are calm waters somewhere nearby.

When we admit we’re broken and find the truth between us once again, we calm our seas, and bright skies shine.

May we continue to trust.

When we went to Uganda in 2009, we stayed a few days on the Nile River. Moments passed when I couldn’t even believe I was there, that the calm and still of the water was actually right under my feet and surrounding every part of me. It was every calm that I needed in a place of hurt I couldn’t understand and a people I deeply loved.


Today, that river reminds me, and I choose to be piloted. I choose to be lead, and I choose peace.


Leave a Reply