The Unseen Helmsman

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
As a young man, Daniel Matthews was wild and reckless, always in rebellion against any authority. The one thing he loved was the sea, reveling in its dangers. He was daring beyond all the boys of his age, and older sailors, experienced in life on the sea, would not have dared to do the things he did.
An unbeliever, he would with forceful language and powerful argument prove, as he thought, that religion was a fallacy and God was a myth.
One night the fishing fleet was far out at sea when a storm of unusual intensity sprang up. Nets had to be cut adrift, and every boat made for the harbor. So great was the tempest that even Dan became alarmed. For the first time in his life he was really afraid.
His Christian friend, Tom Rogers, was at the wheel with him when a great wave broke over the bow and swept the little craft from stem to stern. Tom was torn from the wheel and hurled into the raging waves.
He had no time to think or grieve over the loss of his friend who had often urged him to trust in Christ; it was now a desperate and lonely struggle to reach the shore. For what seemed like hours of terror he clung to the wheel, driving on and on through the darkness with no sign of the harbor light. He was losing strength, and realized that he could not carry on much longer. The icy wind chilled him to the bone. The spray that broke in clouds over the vessel blinded him and cut his face.
Dan felt sure that he was near the land, though he could see nothing in the intense darkness. Through the roar of the wind he could hear the waves beating against the rocks like distant thunder, and his heart seemed to freeze with fear.
In that terrible moment he prayed. Hopeless, helpless, and despairing, he cried to God for help. It was only a desperate cry: "O God, help me!"
Then a strange thing happened. He felt a strong Hand was on the wheel, turning it in spite of his own despairing grip, turning it—and swinging the vessel from its course. In a moment the fury of the wind lessened, the waves grew quieter, and Dan found himself within his own harbor.
What he felt at that moment he could never describe. At first he was terribly afraid. He knew —yes, he knew—that God had taken the wheel from his hand and brought him through the inlet into the harbor, and he was afraid of the unseen Helmsman whom he had mocked and ridiculed. But it changed his whole life, and he had the courage to tell his mates what had happened and how God had come to his help. As soon as he was able, he came to ask for help and guidance, and soon he found the way to the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his own Savior.
Until that same strong and loving Hand steered his vessel of life into its final port, he was never tired of telling all who would listen the wonderful story of the unseen Helmsman.
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom. 10:13.)
I know not why God's wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy as I am,
He claimed me for His own.
But "I know whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I've committed
Unto Him against that day."