It’s true to say that we all have faced a common enemy in Coronavirus. Many of us have faced unexpected losses and we must grieve and take time to process what has been lost. There have also been unexpected gain. I have found fellow walkers looking up to say hello as we dance around each other keeping the 2 metre rule. Our hearts have been warmed by the kindness of volunteers and the courage of those who have kept the country going.
Our experiences of lockdown vary. Some have been furloughed and been either bored or fulfilled in new ventures. Others have worked the whole way through being grateful they have jobs, been desperate for a break, many have been somewhere in between. Some have reconnected with families, others isolated. I have heard people say in reference to the pandemic ‘We are all in the same boat’. I know what they mean. It’s about that common enemy that’s stopped many of us in our tracks. However a quote by Wall street journalist Damian Barr makes more sense to me.
WE ARE NOT ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME STORM. SOME ARE ON SUPER-YACHTS. SOME HAVE JUST THE ONE OAR.
Can you identify the boat you are journeying in from the picture below? If not what sort of boat has it been?
I have been comforted by the idea of having Jesus in my boat during a storm, even though it’s taken on water a few times If I don’t feel Him near, I picture myself watching Him negotiate the waves and wind as He walks towards me across the sea. I anticipate those final steps into the boat and the relief of Him being near. I wonder if this time He will silence the storm or ride it out with me. Either way the Bible tells me that He provides the anchor that keeps me rooted to the place where He wants me to be.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6: 19.
A few weeks ago, 3 months after lockdown, I found myself in an emotional and spiritual storm. It was relentless. I looked for Jesus and there He was in the boat with me. I stared back out at the horizon, looking for clues that the storm was easing or for some relief. The storm was darker and angrier than ever. I tried to picture the anchor that was securing the boat. Surely that piece of formed metal was too flimsy to cope with the power of the huge waves? What if the sea bed was just loose sand? I was becoming more disorientated and confused by the tossing and turning motion of the huge waves. I turned and cried out to Jesus through the roaring wind ‘I need more! I need more reassurance!’.
I waited for him to respond and my attention was drawn to him. He settled me with the words of Psalm 89 which came to me through a podcast.
‘God is The Rock of my Salvation’.
The anchor that is Jesus is fixed into solid, immovable rock with indestructible chains holding my boat securely and safely. For a few more days the storm did not give in. Broken nights sleep, anxiety and helplessness continued. But as long as He had my attention it was like the boat was gently bobbing on calm waters. He was in it with me.
I had an incorrect view of my anchor. It was more of a drawing of a 2D anchor rather than the actual robust, securely fastened, strong mainstay that He is.
Writing this reminded me of the words to an old song.
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love
Ask God for a fresh image of Him. Know He holds you too with strong unbreakable bonds. Fix your attention on Him. He’s with you and for you.