O God, thy sea is so great, my boat is so small!

Happy New Year! Beginning today with last year’s most clicked post. I am just a little drop of water in a magnificent ocean, I am so small. But He is so great!! Be blessed with this beautiful story.

An Old Breton prayer was inscribed on a block of wood on the desk of President John F. Kennedy. Admiral Hyman Rickover would give it to new submarine captains and also presented one to the President. Kennedy loved the quote and used it in his dedication of the East Coast Memorial to the Missing at Sea, May 23, 1963. He always kept in on his desk in the Oval Office and it is now in the JFK Presidential Museum and Library.

Here is the poem in its entirety:

Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.
It cannot be that any happy fate
Will me befall
Save as Thy goodness opens paths for me
Through the consuming vastness of the sea.
Thy winds, O God, so strong,
So slight my sail.
How could I curb and bit them on the long
And saltry trail,
Unless Thy love were mightier than the wrath
Of all the tempests that beset my path?
Thy world, O God, so fierce,
And I so frail.
Yet, though its arrows threaten oft to pierce
My fragile mail,
Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease,
Sweet silences abound, and all is peace.
~Winfred Ernest Garrison
So much goodness in these words! What a Mighty God! I am frail, I am small, I am even weak. Sometimes LIFE overwhelms me and “unless thy love were mightier than the wrath of all the tempests that beset my path”, I could never make it through those storms.

I love the ending, “Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease, sweet silences abound, and all is peace.”

In the Old Testament there were Cities of Refuge. When the Promised Land was divided up among the twelve tribes of Israel, only one tribe did not receive land: the Levites. They were given the care and upkeep of the Tabernacle and to be the priests of the Lord.  Part of their inheritance consisted of 48 cities that were spread throughout the land and six of those were Cities of Refuge.

If someone committed a murder, for example, under the Mosaic Law, they were to be put to death. Exodus 21:14. But if it was an unintentional or accidental death, he could flee to a City of Refuge and be “safe” from his avenger until a “trial” was held to determine his guilt or innocence. As long as he stayed in the City of Refuge, no one could touch him. If he left the city for any reason, and there were people seeking his life, he was no longer under that protection.


Aren’t you thankful for a place of refuge in Jesus Christ! We can run to Him in our distress and be protected, even forgiven, from the accuser of the brethren, Satan himself. No matter what he wants to charge us with, Jesus has already paid the price and we can find comfort and safety in His everlasting arms.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” Psalms 46:1-3.

Yes, the sea of life is so big, sometimes scary and even overwhelming. But our God is so GREAT and able to carry us through anything if we take refuge in Him.

Rest in that hope today!

Have you received your copy of The Daniel Fast – A Devotional yet? Get prepared for the New Year with the paperback or kindle version now!DF-cover-side-view

Be blessed!



Hearts for Home,  Thriving thursday, Growing in Grace

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2 thoughts on “O God, thy sea is so great, my boat is so small!

  1. carolapv

    Thank-you for sharing the poem and inspiring words to begin this New Year!

    1. Candace Jo Post author

      So welcome!! God bless!

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