The Pilot

May 5, 2016
by Joel Jongkind

James 3:4 – Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. (NKJV)

During the last week of February and the first week of March, we were on a Caribbean cruise. I am not at all nautically inclined, but I was fascinated by the maritime activities in the various ports that we visited. When we left our port of embarkation on the evening of the first day, it was dark and we were getting settled in, so I did not witness the activities at that time, but gradually the ship headed out to the open waters, and we were on our way.

At one point, we encountered some really stormy weather and rough seas; there were high waves and strong winds. The big cruise ship was even affected by it to some extent, and parts of the deck were roped off for safety reasons. As we approached our destination for that day, a small boat came alongside, and a pilot jumped onto the hanging ladder, climbed aboard through a door in the side of the ship, and went to the bridge to guide us into the harbour. I read that ship navigation has many challenges, but those challenges multiply when entering a harbour or a port. Pilots know the area and have a mental map of underwater dangers, water depth, currents, and tides. Pilots are there to advise the captain about speed and direction. I used to think that pilots took over completely, but that is not the case, except for going through the Panama Canal.

As we left the stormy waters and entered the safe harbour, I thought: that is a lot like life, isn't it? There are storms of different kinds in all our lives, and quite often, we try to cope as best we can. But then, it is time to call on our Pilot, Jesus, to guide us.

The psalmist David knew this; he called on God to guide him:

Psalm 31:3 – For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name's sake, lead me and guide me. (NKJV)

When we call on Jesus, He will guide us. There is a hymn by Edward Hopper which describes this so well:

    Jesus, Saviour, pilot me
    Over life's tempestuous sea;
    Unknown waves before me roll,
    Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
    Chart and compass come from Thee;
    Jesus, Saviour, 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."

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, as we face the different storms of life, we pray that we will always call on You to guide us safely through. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great encouragement Joel.


    Thanks for this analogy. It is so inspiring.
    Blessings.


    Yes, may Jesus always be our pilot. Thank you Joel for this comforting devotional. Blessings.


    Joel, Loved your devotional. The parallels you drew between piloting the ship and Jesus piloting our lives really hit home. This is a meditation subject for me. God Bless.
    (PEI)


    Wonderful devotion this morning and exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of, so thank you. And may God continue to bless you as you share His love with others. Thanks for your inspirational words.
    (Ont.)


    Thanks for this interesting devotional.
    We had a chorus we sang when I taught Sunday School “Do you want a pilot? Signal then to Jesus.
    Bless you for your continued spiritual uplift on the Daily!
    (BC)


    Thank you for this wonderful example of our need for Jesus, our pilot. I have a background of inland waters, and much sailing experience. A few times we’d be caught by storms coming upon us sooner than expected, and I can remember, even in the midst of fear and capsizing, that Jesus was in charge. You brought back wonderful memories… and confirmation of the One in charge.


    Thank you Joel for your devotional this morning. I well remember a pilot guiding our cruise ship along the Bosphorus and into Istanbul. There were countless opportunities for disaster, but we were brought safely into port. I asked the captain if the pilot was a formality or a necessity. He said, “This is the busiest shipping lane in the world. Either you have a pilot or you pray. For me, it is both.”
    Blessings.


    Dear Joel;
    Your devotional is most befitting today. Just returned from the hospital and there are some decisions that have to be made regarding my mother. When we were told that mom would need 24/7 care, mom was shocked. I cannot give her the care that she needed.
    Thoughts of nursing homes and thoughts of selling her house and where would my husband and I end up flashed through my mind, along with other feelings of feeling sorry for myself.


    Hello Joel,
    Your devotional titled “The Pilot” was inspired.
    Thanks for taking the time to write PresbyCan Devotionals.
    I look forward to every life experience and scripture that you share with your cyber audience.
    May God continue to guide and keep you in His Care.
    (Ont.)


    Thanks for that little bit about the pilot ‘just advising’ the captain, not taking over. I thought he took over.
    Now I see the analogy to our Divine pilot in a different light. He wants to work with us not do it by Himself.
    Thanks Joel, that little change in my ‘supposed knowledge’ has given me a new insight into our Lord’s methods of leading His children(which includes me!)
    Bless you.


    Dear Joel.
    Thank you for a most devotional devotional.
    May the Lord pilot you into the harbor of writing more devotionals.
    For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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