Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today.
The depths of my sad heart are troubled.
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul,
And I perish! I perish! dear Master.
Oh, hasten and take control!
We have all had moments in our lives when the words of this hymn have been the cry of our hearts. Maybe you are in the midst of such a moment right now.
The inspiration behind Master, the Tempest is Raging comes from a moment of great fear for the Apostles of Jesus Christ. As recorded in the gospel of Matthew:
And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
While we all desire to be faithful in the midst of our storms, it is natural to cry out when dark times descend. We often find ourselves wondering if Jesus Christ is asleep.
The lesson we can learn from this scriptural account is that the safety of the Apostles did not depend on the weather. All that mattered was who was on the boat with them. The same is true in our lives. Storms may rage and smooth sailing may seem a far way off, but if we have anchored ourselves to Jesus Christ, we can know we are safe. Christ may seem as if he is asleep. We may be asked to batten down the hatches on our own for awhile and sail on in faith. We do so with the promise that Jesus Christ is aware of us and will bring us to a better day.
Of course, this does not eliminate all the seasickness of life. Our eyes may sting from salty winds and our hearts may roll and sway. We may even feel we are sinking, as Peter did when, as he walked upon the waves, he looked at the storm instead of the Savior. However, we have the promise we will not sink.
So if you feel like Jesus Christ is sleeping through your storm, consider this quote by S. Michael Wilcox:
What we need to understand about our Father in Heaven is that He prefers to prepare us to face the storms of life, the contrary winds, rather than to still them. So if you are past your fourth watch and He has not come, don’t assume that He is not there, that He doesn’t care, He doesn’t listen, or that you are not worthy. Assume your ship is tight like a dish. You will not sink.