We took our caravan away on holiday to the New Forest in the South West of England. Normally it is a lovely peaceful area, set back from the coast by a few miles, and not known for its high winds. However after we had arrived and pitched the caravan, complete with a porch awning on the side, the wind got up, and of course the rain started (this is England!). The awning is a sort of nylon tent which fixes to the side of the caravan and has hoop-shaped fibreglass poles to give it shape. It stays in place by means of guy ropes which are tied to various anchor points on the awning sides and fixed to the ground with strong metal pegs, which are hammered into the firm hardstanding.
As the wind increased, the awning bent alarmingly and the whole structure became rather deformed. We were worried that the thin poles would snap or the fabric would tear. I purchased extra pegs and guy ropes from the camp shop and tied everything I could with lots of pegs. We were rather concerned that it wouldn’t be there in the morning! However, it performed well and, as I write this ‘Seed’ in the caravan, the gentle breeze, which is now blowing, is having little effect on the awning, which is once more looking as it should do.
I am reminded of an old hymn we used to sing when I was young which began `will your anchor hold in the storms of life?`, based on the Scripture quoted above from Hebrews 6:9. We often teach about the story of Jesus stilling the storm, but sometimes the storm continues and we simply have to weather it. When we rely on our own human ability, we can come up against things which are beyond us and cause us to drift away from the place of safety and security, which we are intended to have in Christ. Sudden illness, financial crises, family relationships, church divisions are some examples of such storms. How do we handle these things?
As a ministry we teach many courses which relate to these issues and give strategies for dealing with them. Wounds resulting from past storms are brought to Jesus for healing. Sometimes, however, we simply have to learn to sit it out with Jesus, riding to anchor until the storm has passed. In preparation for such times, maybe we should check our spiritual guy ropes and make sure they are firmly tied. Things like our inner beliefs about God and ourselves, looking at our behaviour patterns and dealing with anything that is insecure, re-examining our future hope in the Lord and making sure we have an eternal assurance.
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life yet to come to you? Paul reminds his readers that God’s character, and His promise given by oath (Genesis 22:16), combine to give an absolute assurance of safety during such times. He will hold us fast, if we will trust Him to do so.
Prayer: Lord we encounter storms in our everyday life, and we confess that sometimes we are not really certain that we can get through them safely. Help us remember to check our anchor points regularly, so we are really firmly held in You, with no fear of being blown away. Amen.
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