Thy sea is great, our boats are small

When I was a teen-ager, I saw a plaque or poster with a stylized painting of a boat on the sea with the saying, “O Lord, Thy sea is so great, and my boat is so small.” That saying resonated with me on many levels. Last week my pastor quoted part of a poem with a similar saying as a recurring line. I searched online for it and found it was a hymn from Henry J. van Dyke in 1922.

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O Maker of the mighty deep
Whereon our vessels fare,
Above our life’s adventure keep
Thy faithful watch and care.

In Thee we trust, whate’er befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

We know not where the secret tides
Will help us or delay,
Nor where the lurking tempest hides,
Nor where the fogs are gray.

In Thee we trust, whate’er befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

When outward bound we boldly sail
And leave the friendly shore,
Let not our heart of courage fail
Until the voyage is o’er.

In Thee we trust, whate’er befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

When homeward bound we gladly turn,
O bring us safely there,
Where harbor lights of friendship burn
And peace is in the air.

In Thee we trust, whate’er befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

Beyond the circle of the sea,
When voyaging is past,
We seek our final port in Thee;
O bring us home at last.

In Thee we trust, whate’er befall;
Thy sea is great, our boats are small.

(Photo courtesy of the stock.xchng.) 

3 thoughts on “Thy sea is great, our boats are small

  1. I remember a similar poster, Barbara. I figure it must have been popular during “our era.” 🙂

    I too like the sentiment of the quote. Thanks for bringing it to mind.

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