Our personal storms are not necessarily age-specific. They may be related to health or finances or relationships or spiritual struggles or mega-fear of national and international terror or economic collapse. We have a Pilot, a skilled and experienced Navigator, waiting for you and me to invite Him on board and allow Him to freely take the helm and bring us to Safe Harbor.
In His loving generosity, God has given me nonagenarian waters—my calendar nineties—in which to navigate. Many others are navigating octogenarian waters, septuagenarian waters, and sexagenarian waters. They are my friends, loved ones, and peers, and the many friends-as-yet-unmet who read my blog.
Each of us has some similar challenges and some unique ones according to the depth of our waters, the intensity of our storm, and our life destiny. If we admit it, we all need help in navigating.
Navigating is not just paddling around aimlessly in our own canoe or drifting merrily, merrily, gently down the stream. It is not reckless motor boating. To navigate is defined: to plot, ascertain, direct, or manage a ship to keep on its course; to control its position in relation to its destination; to cross a body of water safely and soberly. A navigator is a person who is skilled and experienced in navigation.
I'm not a skilled or experienced navigator regardless of how many years I've lived. I have never lived in my nineties before, and you have never before lived in the circumstances in which you find yourself. These are continually new waters for all of us! I know my Eternal Destination but the nautical miles between here and There are fraught with uncertainty, the weather is changeable, the gathering clouds seem ominous, my ship is quite ancient, and I feel as if I am running short of fuel.
I'm sending a distress signal for help—an S.O.S. There is an experienced Pilot who hears my signal, and yours.
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!
When the darkened 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!
It doesn't matter at whatever calendar level -genarian any of us is, we reach the point where wisdom dictates that we turn over the helm to Jesus Christ, the Wondrous Sovereign of the sea, and let Him steer our life craft.
Nor does it matter whether we've been navigating through life with sails which are beginning to tatter, or we feel as if we've been frantically rowing our boat in circles, or we've been lumbering through life like a ponderous steamboat now running out of steam, or whether we've been plowing through life's decades like an unwieldy ocean liner trying to avoid the icebergs with a broken compass--we come to face the reality that our human energy is depleted. The weather forecast is threatening. We can't see clearly what's ahead nor where the rocks lie beneath the churning waves. In our stress and distress we need Jesus in our boat to speak "Peace! Be Still!"
I can't pilot my own ship. Whatever waters still lie ahead of me which I need to navigate, Jesus, Savior, please 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!"