Monday, April 16, 2012

storms...and anchors

“There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail.
There’s an anchor for my soul.
I can say ‘It is well.’
I’ve been singing this one stanza over and over all day. I couldn’t figure out why it was stuck in my head at first, but then I sat down and really SAID the words…and then I cried for about 20 minutes, and then I spent a few hours letting the words sink into my heart.
My heart and flesh fail every day. EVERY DAY. I get aggravated with my kids for their bad attitudes and I snap at them. FLESH FAIL. I get aggravated with my kids when they don’t do anything wrong. FLESH FAIL. I stub my toe and mutter an ugly word…or even just think an ugly word. FLESH FAIL.
I pull a shirt out of my closet that belonged to my sister Joy. HEART FAIL. I pick up my phone to call her and tell her something only she would appreciate…and then remember that she’s gone. HEART FAIL. I hear the news that people I know have lost people they love. HEART FAIL.
But there’s a peace I’ve come to KNOW…not a peace I’ve come to FEEL, because feeling peaceful is altogether rare in my house and life. I’m much more likely to hear the words “You’re freaking out” being spoken to me than the words “you’re so relaxed and peaceful.” Most days I feel bad about this. No one wants a mom/wife/friend/daughter/sister who is an emotional tornado. And trust me when I tell you that BEING an emotional tornado is no picnic either.
BUT there’s a peace I’ve come to know THOUGH my heart and flesh may fail. Read it again. Say it again. IN THE FAILING OF MY HEART AND FLESH there is still peace. It’s a peace I KNOW. It’s a peace that isn’t related to whether or not I FEEL peaceful.
There’s an anchor for my soul.
Anchors are used to keep a boat or ship from drifting away from a certain spot. You drop anchor in a port, or near land, or anywhere you want to stay for a while. It keeps you from being carried away on the current. When I think of anchors, I think of fishing, or scuba diving, or relaxing on calm waters. I think of peaceful afternoons, enjoying the lapping of gentle waves on the hull of a boat, soaking up rays of sunshine...all while sitting in one spot. Thats what the anchor is for.
But ship captains use their anchors in storms too. They use them to help minimize how far off course they will get. The crashing waves, the pounding wind, the driving rain…the ship is no match for them, and has little hope of staying in one spot in the midst of them. So the captain throws the anchor into the water, hoping that the weight will slow the violent toll being taken on the vessel; hoping that when the storm passes, IF it passes, the ship will be intact.
Oh yeah, that’s what I use my anchor for. The wind is way stronger than I can stand against. The waves nearly drown me over and over. When I get a chance to take a breath between waves, the rain is still pelting me. There is no hope, no hope, of staying where I was 20 months ago. That place is lost forever.  I have felt the storm. I live the storm. Some days it subsides a little. Some days it rages with such intensity that I can hardly cope. I'm fighting to stay in one place...and it often feels like I am dragging my anchor along behind me as I toss and pitch on the sea.
But it’s not that kind of anchor. This anchor is the kind that is weighed down with eternal, ultimate, undeniable, everlasting, overwhelming TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The anchor isn’t something I use in a storm to keep me close to where I started.
The Anchor of my soul is the One who created it. He doesn’t want me to stay where I was when the wind first started to blow. He wants me to rely on the weight of HIM, the reminder that HE IS WITH ME IN THE STORM!!!!!!!!
“I can’t feel Him through my pain.” The wave crashes over me. I can’t breathe. My flesh fails.
But the Anchor speaks. “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. I am here!” (Matthew 14:27b)
“I will never get to hug her again. I will never get to hear her voice again. I will never be the same again.” The winds blow…they cut me to ribbons. My heart fails.
But the weight of Him tugs. “…help comes from the Lord.” (Psalm 121:2a)
“She’s gone…” my heart and flesh fail.
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die. Do  you believe this...?" (John 11:25-26) The Anchor asks me to trust Him, to belive His words are true. And I do believe Him. Because HE IS THE REASON SHE’S NOT GONE FOREVER! He is the reason I can say (sometimes while coughing the water from my lungs between overwhelming waves) “IT IS WELL.”
I can’t keep going with the whole song, taking it apart and telling you what it means to me. Instead I want you to listen to it…and really SAY the words. Maybe grief isn’t your storm. That doesn’t matter. The Anchor is the same, no matter the storm. He is with you in yours. He is with me in mine.
And it is well.
This isn't the original Chris Tomlin version of this song. But when I saw the video, I couldn't stop laughing and crying. Joy loved all things multi-cultural! She was a missionary, after all.


1 comment:

  1. Following a facebook link posted by Tiffany Bertram, I found myself here...

    In less than 10 years, I've said goodbye to my only brother, my husband of 33 years, my baby sister and, most recently, my Mom.

    I simply want to say thank you for your ministering words.

    Beverly Summers