During a quiet day-retreat in May 2013, I felt God speaking to me through the metaphor of a boat on the ocean about His desire to direct my life as I yield to him. The poem seemed to flow straight from the heart of God into my journal; He the writer, and I the scribe. At the time, I had no idea how prophetic this poem would be as God had a new voyage for me to take.
A few weeks later, God spoke to my heart and said He wanted me to move to he Hawaiian Islands for a season of healing and growth. It felt like a risk when I gave notice that I’d be leaving my current job, cutting the line to what had been my security. But believing He was leading me, I let go of my fears and yielded my will to Him. I trusted Him to be faithful to lead me as I sailed out on the open sea, believing that He was preparing a place for me to land.
Now 16 months later, I am looking back and praising Him for a new job, place to live, church, friends, and a season of rest–He is so good! The journey hasn’t been easy, but along the way, this poem has been like a compass. It has reminded me that on this life-voyage, I can trust my God who is loving and good. Use the comments section to let me know what it means to you!
The poem was given a Hawaiian name meaning The Ocean Canoe because it has touched the hearts of my friends from the Islands. One Uncle said it reminded him of the Hokule’a, a double-hull canoe circumnavigating the globe via ancient Polynesian celestial navigation. I thus present this poem as a gift to my host culture. If anyone of Hawaiian heritage should choose to translate it or turn it into a song, I would be honored.
**Please do not reproduce or publish without written permission. Thank you!
Ke Kai Wa’aMy will is like a sail on the open sea
The sailboat is Your gift to me
You let me control the rudder
Which makes me feel alive and free I can move the sail around,
Tie it in compact or spread it out wide
I feel powerful with my self-determination
But when I forget the wind and sea, I’m full of pride Because while it’s true I have some power
To determine where I land
The boat, the sail, the rudder
You all hold in Your hand Even more, the sea itself
Is what holds my boat
Only your love and grace
Keep my life afloat And the wind, the powerful wind
That lets my sailboat move
Is Your breath, Your strength
Your sovereign plan to prove So while I could resist Your wind
And pull my sail in tight
My buoyancy becomes precarious
And my heart is filled with fright My mast and ropes get tied in knots
My boat sways to and fro
With all my effort to resist You
It’d be better to simply let go Let go my hold on fear and pain
Let you set me free
My sail’s now open to Your winds
Out on the open sea As I let Your will, Your wind
Spread my sail out wide
I realize my power to conquer
And sail smoothly through every tide My life won’t be without trouble
But when I let You control my course
I go far beyond my own ability
Pushed on by the Greatest Force So I spread my sail out wide
To let Your wind be my guide