Recently, our family went on a vacation to the Atlantic Ocean where Jesus reassured me, yet again, how He is the Anchor for my soul! Consequently, this blog will be written merely as an analogy comparing the condition of my soul to a novice brought out to the deep. So, for all my sea-faring friends and readers, I hope this post calms you the next time God leads you through a tumultuous voyage to remind you how He is still in charge of the winds and rains!
During our trip, the Holy Spirit unearthed in me that when I’m outside the familiarity of my everyday life, I wrestle with the uncertainty of those foreign environments, responding poorly to the unknowns they hold. Where I do love to travel and visit new places when we do venture out, the sin which becomes exposed is that I undoubtedly have unhealthy attachments to the idols of stability found in schedules and the security my accustomed environment brings me. Also, when a regular routine is not kept, my emotions get rocked back and forth like a small skiff in a sea full of perilous waves! But I believe Father allowed me to venture into undiscovered territory with such “choppy waters” in order to lovingly teach me that I am not the Skipper in charge of this barge! (Can you agree that the maritime terminology is fitting here?)
After much prayer and confession about ultimately putting my hope in things other than God, the Lord took hold of my heart as the Anchor of my soul. Although the Lord is the very one to stir up the sea so that its waves roar, He has a purpose beyond what’s seen. The bottom line is that Jesus can be trusted both at home and
in uncharted waters!
Reflecting back, the substantial fear I felt when I had no control compiled with the anger I encountered when faced with the unexpected made me feel like a tiny boat lost among an enormous ocean! Had it not been for my Anchor holding me steady, I could’ve capsized at any moment! Nevertheless, when the overwhelming anxiety arose out of nowhere like a Nor’easter that could have taken out anything in its path, Jesus kept the keel firmly pointed down and prevented me from falling over. By the end of my sailing excursion, Father reminded me of how He stands at the helm tactfully steering us where He wants us to go! His navigation system is the best course to follow “when the sea billows roll”!
23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
First Corinthians 2:10 states “God reveals things by his Spirit; for it is His Spirit who searches out everything…” You see, on both the port side or starboard, Jesus covers our “blind spots”! He has eyes at the bow as well as the stern, omnisciently aware of dangers we can neither see nor predict. Similarly, it’s near impossible for me to know what lies at the core of my belief system until the Holy Spirit says “This weight is too heavy and will sink your ship if you carry it any further” confirming Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”
Isaiah 42:7 pronounces “For I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar!” But He also promises in Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you!” So, in the midst of mayhem, instead of fighting what Father is doing and attempting to weather the storm alone, I had to trust that the Master and Commander of my vessel would keep me afloat! Otherwise, the forces of nature would have undeniably washed me onto shore, waterlogged and beaten by the wind. Instead, when my heart was astir within and the elements around wrestled me to the ground, Jesus became for me a shelter from the squall like a leeward shield! The Captain of the ship simultaneously guided me back to the serenity of soul and delivered me from the soaring surf surrounding me!
Overall, let’s recall what is said in Jeremiah 10: 13 “When God thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from His storehouses!” Hence, when the dark clouds of circumstance block my view and couple with my own vain conceit, they produce poor vision preventing me from seeing! In those moments, it’s imperative that I do not permit the pirates of pride and selfish ambition to rob me of the treasure troves God has kept for me at the end of the journey. (Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you treasures stored away…”) For this reason and many more, by faith and not sight I must constantly cling to the Compass who will direct my heart safely to Solid Ground!
Conclusively, even amidst divers dangers near and far, I have become aware of how to better ride out any odyssey the Lord deems fit to cast me into since Jesus is the Anchor for my soul. And while He draws me deeper in Him still, Father will not let me go beyond His desired destination for me! (Psalm 42:7 “Deep calls to deep… all Your waves and breakers swept over me.”) Verily, I have found that my role as a member on board this fleet among God’s other sailor Sons and Daughters is to openly receive both the tempest trials along with the tranquil times! Next time things look bleak from your limited marine binoculars’ view, let Jesus take His rightful seat perched up higher than the fog! In like manner, Jesus is also our Anchor saving us from the dangers of the depths below! Praise God for fastening us firmly to Him! (Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”)