Why “Age-Long Minute”

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?
Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

-Amy Carmichael

I don’t know the circumstances that prompted Amy Carmichael to pen this poem around a hundred years ago, but that phrase, “the age-long minute” speaks to this mother’s heart today. Often, motherhood feels like that age-long minute. I know it’s passing so quickly (as a young mom, I cannot escape being reminded of this truth by more seasoned mothers as I cart my little ones through the grocery store), but here in the trenches, it often truly feels like I’ve been here and will continue to be here for ages.

While I hope that the entirety of our parenting journeys cannot be likened to shrill winds and sinking boats, there are certainly many moments when it feels that way. These are moments where we feel as though we are barely keeping our heads above water, as the culture shrieks its lies and demands, or our children shriek angry words at us. In these moments, we may find ourselves giving way to fear or despair.

In such age-long minutes, we must remember that, as this poem references, we belong to the One whom the wind and waves obey. If we are willing to surrender ourselves to Him, we find that we are held in peace. We can face our fears and anxieties, the daily grind, the big decisions, the discipline, the potty training, the terrible twos and the terrifying teens with grace and temerity. The boat cannot sink while He is in it, and our hearts will not faint if we wait on His will.

Our hope for you, dear friends, is that here you will find encouragement and conviction as you travel in that boat. We are in it with you, clinging to the One who soothes the furious seas in this age-long minute of motherhood.

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