My mother and father have told me all my life what a strong person I am. Daddy has told me more often than I can count that he never worries about my ability to bounce back from life. He says I'm like a huge coil that, when pressed hard, springs right back. I don't share that vision of myself. How many times I have chastised myself for being weak and faltering. There have been times in my life when I have felt so beaten down by life events that I have thought I would never rise again. Mother and Daddy are the strong ones. They have had their share of illnesses, sorrow and despair. They have each lost their parents and they have lost two of their four sons. Yet in their spirits and in their hearts they remain unmoveable, unshakeable--their faith in God ever present and ever trusting. They are the strong ones--the anchored ones.
My sister-in-law, Tracy, took this picture of the anchor on a trip to the Grand Caymen Island. When I saw it, I knew I would have to use it as the image for this post. It is so perfect in what it illustrates---strength, endurance, permanence. It is a symbol, to me, of how I feel about my Lord. He is my anchor. He holds me secure in the midst of all life's storms and assures me, time after time, that all is well. He is strong enough to keep me safe and bring me safely to rest.
Several gospel songs from my childhood come to mind when I look at this photo. "I've Anchored In Jesus" was one of my favorites. I love its words:
"I've anchored in Jesus, the storms of life I'll brave.
I've anchored in Jesus, I fear no wind or wave.
I've anchored in Jesus, for He has power to save.
I've anchored in the Rock of Ages."
My childhood mind conjured up a picture of Jesus, bigger than the earth itself, standing guard over me and allowing nothing to harm me in any way. How safe I felt, knowing Jesus was my anchor.
As I grew older I learned to love the song,"Haven of Rest".
"I've anchored my soul in the Haven of rest.
I'll sail the wide seas no more.
The billows may sweep o'er the wild, stormy deep,
But in Jesus I'm safe evermore.
Where else are we safe but anchored in Him? My mind goes to the purpose of the anchor--to hold a ship in place, to hold it secure, to prevent it from drifting from its location. Oh! when Jesus is our anchor, we are, indeed, held so securely in the storms of life. We are held by a Saviour who will never let us sink or fail. He will keep us where we need to be during even the darkest times of our lives. A more recent song by Ray Boltz, "The Anchor Holds", says it so clearly:
"The anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The anchor holds, thought the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees
As I've faced the raging seas,
The anchor holds, in spite of the storm."
In spite of the storm. In spite of all that is raging around us--the anchor holds. In spite of all the heartaches and despair that might make us think we are about to sink--the anchor holds. Jesus, the anchor of life and soul, holds us secure. Nothing can touch us, harm us, defeat us, for He holds---in spite of the storm.
I recall a story of a young man who was preparing his small ship to face a raging storm coming through the coastline of where he lived. An older, more experienced seaman watched him for a moment then said to him, "Son, what are you doing?" I'm tying down my boat with this rope so it will be safe in the storm.", replied the young man. With a smile based on years of experienced at sea, the older man said to him, "You don't have to tie it down, son. Just drop the anchor."
Oh, dear friends, how many times I have failed to let Jesus anchor me. How many times I would have been secured and sheltered in time of storm if only I had anchored my every thought and fear to His dear side. May we learn today the meaning of the anchor. May we find its strength and its security in whatever storm we are facing at this time of life. Jesus, the anchor of our souls. Trust me, this anchor holds---in spite of the storm.