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Master, the Tempest is Raging - Mary Baker

Master the Tempest is Raging – Mary Baker

Mary Baker, Baptist author of the well-known hymn, "Master, the Tempest is Raging," was initially known for her evangelistic work, especially her work with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. However, her beliefs and mission work weren't the only defining factors of her faith. She had a way with words that would bring many people comfort in their darkest days.

 

Baker understood sorrow in the midst of the Christian faith because she lived through tragedy. The words of "Master, the Tempest is Raging," were the direct result of that tragedy. Her brother was deathly ill and over a thousand miles away from home. Baker and her sisters would correspond back and forth with her brother, as Baker herself was ill and could not go to him. Finally, one day the news of her brother's death came and dealt a harsh blow to the family. While she had always clung to her faith (having lost her mother and father to the same disease), she rebelled against the Lord and claimed that He had no care for her and her family. However, God's peace struck a chord in her heart as it often does in the Christian life and planted a seed so deep that she could not help but celebrate his life and hold onto the memories he left behind. 

 

Her journey with grief inspired her to write. Baker used those words to pen the beautiful words of "Master, the Tempest is Raging" and provided its singers an anthem to sing in their darkest days. She originally wrote the hymn for Dr. Palmer, who requested that she write hymns based on the themes often dealt with in Sunday Schools. The current theme was "Christ Stilling the Tempest." She was immediately reminded of her brother and the grief associated with it, and it became the inspiration for her hymn.

 

The hymn was eventually republished, and its fame spread worldwide - even sung at the funerals of government officials such as President Garfield. Baker said of the hymn, "It is quite a surprise to me that this humble hymn should have crossed the seas and been sung in far distant lands to the honor of the Savior's name." Her hymn helped heal and comfort many.

 

  Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o'er shadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
"Carest thou not that we perish?"
How canst thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threat'ning,
A grave in the angry deep?
 
 Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled,
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o'er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master,
O hasten, and take control.
 
  Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven's within my breast;
Linger, O blessed Redeemer,
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbour,
And rest on the blissful shore.
 
Refrain
The winds and the waves shall obey my will,
Peace be still
Whether the wrath of the stormtossed sea,
Or devils or men, or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey my will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey my will,
Peace, peace, be still!

 

 Melody Publications' focus is to reawaken the melody of truth in believers' hearts and minds at home and abroad. Our prayer is that our work would aid churches and families as they sing "Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs" in praise and worship to our God.

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