A Light on the Starboard Bow”

Welcome sound! It fell upon my ear, and caused my heart to leap for joy. I had been standing at the bow of the vessel which was carrying us over the wild Atlantic, and was endeavouring to pierce the darkness of the night, and trace an outline of the shore. The rain drizzled and the wind blew cold and frosty over the Arctic current, and over icebergs which floated in the vicinity. The rolling ocean beneath and around was black as ink, and no sound could be heard but the howling of the wind. I was meditating on the love of Him whose hand had brought us in safety over so many miles of trackless and stormy sea, and was comparing the voyage to the life of man—the sailing out of port, full of hope—the plunging forward in each day’s life, not knowing the events of the next—the adventures—the dangers—the ups—the downs—the expectations—the prospects—the desire of the haven beyond—when my reverie was broken by the cry of the man on the lookout, “A light on the starboard, sir!” and the answer from the officer on the bridge, “Aye, aye.”

The light that was seen declared the presence of land. It was from a lighthouse. The voyage was therefore at an end, and with it all the suffering and sickness, the rolling and tossing; and the quiet waters of the harbour were near at hand. The announcement of the light was welcome in proportion to the discomfort that had been experienced. How fair were the rays of light that fell from the lighthouse over the dreary waste of waters, and how cheerful the shout that told us of the longed-for end!

But another light is shining and casting its fairer rays over another dreary waste, and another cry proclaims the haven of rest.

Mariner on the ocean of life! thou art outward bound, but whither? Thou hast sailed from port and hast discovered a trackless waste around thee. It may be thou art uncertain as to thy future. All dark around, all black within, no guiding landmark, only the dismal howl of disappointed hopes and broken resolutions; and thou art alone. It may be thy soul has proved the world to be but an empty void, and that sin has spoiled and tarnished what God’s hand had made so “very good.” Yea, that life itself is but a vapour, and that time is carrying thee swiftly; onward to the appointed doom of “death and judgment.”

But stay! A light is shining. Its rays are clear and unfaltering. It guides securely. That light in the midst of darkness is Jesus. “I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Lost soul, look to Jesus! Salvation for thee is in Him. He says, “Look unto me and be ye saved” (Isa. 45:22).

Anxious soul, look to Jesus! Relief for thee from all thy burden of sin is in Him. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Struggling soul, look to Jesus! He fought the light of faith and won the day. “Looking unto Jesus, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).

Every soul! “See Jesus crowned with glory and honour” (Heb. 2:9), sitting on the Father’s throne, the mighty work of salvation finished, and, through Him proclaimed, light for the blind, pardon for the guilty, salvation for the lost.

Reader! there’s a light in heaven for thee.