Thoughts from the Hymn Poem “Peace Be Still” by Mary A. Baker


Our local newspaper featured a picture of waves from Lake Michigan crashing against the South Haven Lighthouse. For over 100 years the South Haven Lighthouse has warned of dangers along the shoreline of Lake Michigan at the entrance to the Black River. Recent reports of a winter storm told of waves of eight to twelve feet crashing against the lighthouse.

I couldn’t help but think of the disciples experience in the Sea of Galilee when their small fishing craft was being bombarded by a fierce gale of wind, the waves breaking over the boat – filling it with water. This account from the Gospels inspired Mary A. Baker in 1874 to pen the words of the well-known hymn poem “Master the Tempest is Raging.”

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!

Public Domain.

Jesus is still the “master of the ocean, earth, and skies” who brings peace.