One of last years prayers spoke of venturing out on wider seas where storms will show your mastery. There is greater danger near the coast for ships than on the open sea. Full submission to God’s will for our lives is actually the safest place for us. This poem by Hezekiah Butterworth beautifully illustrates this truth.

When life was young my white sail hung

Ore oceans crystal floor;

In the capes alee was the dreaming sea,

And the deep sea waves before.

And a Gloster fisherman called to me

From the piers extremest post:

Strike out, my boy, for the open sea,

Theres danger near the coast!

From the seaport town I went away,

And a Christian man returned,

And I told in the old home church one day

The truths my heart had learned

When the grizzly fisherman said to me:

Of strength we may not boast;

Strike out, my boy, for the open sea;

Theres danger near the coast.

False lights, false rocks, are near the land,

The reef the land-wave hides,

And the ship goes down in sight of the town,

That safe the deep sea rides.

Tis those that steer the old life near

Temptation suffer most;

Strike out again for the open main;

Theres danger near the coast!

And so on lifes bay I sail away,

Where free the sea winds blow,

As I sailed from the old home port that day,

And the rocks of the Normans Woe.

And when I steer the old life near,

The fisherman, like a ghost,

On the wave-rocked pier I seem to hear-

Theres danger near the coast!