At the end of each year, as the days darken early and everything seems to slow down to reflect, celebrate, honor, and gear up for a new year, I find myself nearly begging God for a word to carry as my banner as I march forward.
Some years I fight the word, some years I plead for it… and then there was this year. In October, months before it was even on my mind to need a new one, He dropped it on me. Over and over.
“But Lord,” I wanted to say, “I’m still working on Peace. Remember that word I didn’t want that You gave me anyway? Yeah, still working on staying in it.”
Even so, He continued to whisper this new theme. A theme that, really, has been there all along.
It’s been there sure and steady, foundational to every word before it: Peace, Fearless, New Song, Hope, Comfort, Rest, Abide, and Light. None of these life compasses would have meant a thing without it.
In fact, Hebrews 6:18b-19 says:
Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
I know, I’ve already done hope (and for any of you who know me well, it’s become a life theme, not just for 2016) clearly God knew it would be the anchor of every word written of my life story.
See what I did there?
Yes, the anchor’s name is Hope. And Hope’s name is Jesus. The One who tore the curtain so that I could be daughter.
In Him and through faith in Him we may enter God’s presence with boldness and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10: 19-23).
The Anchor of my soul
THIS is my anchor. He is my anchor.
Yes, Him dropping the word anchor on me makes me think, What storms are You preparing me for, Lord? Yet, even as I start the question, I know that He’s been my anchor in every calm and every storm before today. And He’ll ground me, guard me, protect me in every storm and every calm hereafter.
The word simply reveals what has been and what will continue to be.
Here’s the cool thing about anchors:
- Ships sometimes need to idle and remain out at sea, so they anchor. The anchor holds the ship to keep it from drifting off course during the waiting period.
- Sometimes ships anchor temporarily so those onboard can swim, explore, fish, play.
- Ships might anchor to keep sturdy in uncomfortable circumstances.
- Ships anchor to hold out through a storm, especially if getting to shore is out of the question. Sailors hunker down and wait out the rough weather, trusting their boat will still be on course and they will survive.
One sailor said, “Nothing is worse than being stuck on a boat in high winds for 48 hours or 60 hours [and] not having anchor faith. To reduce fear and be able to sleep at night, you want to know that you have an anchor that will keep you safe” (Sailing Britican).
Well friends, I’m here to tell you that my anchor is the safest one out there. He is trustworthy. I have Anchor Faith. Oh Lord, help me to have Anchor Faith!
Heading into 2020
As we head into 2020, I’m prepared to carry on in the abiding Shalom of last year, armed with the strong and trustworthy anchor of my soul.
A prophetic word was prayed over me this last year. The prayer warrior said, as she prayed, “I see a rope around you… and God is holding the rope. No matter where you go or what you do, you are secure in His grip. You can let go and trust Him. You can hold to His promises, that even as obstacles come, He has hold of you.”
This was in July… months before God would begin speaking the actual word anchor in my spirit. As the word has begun to grip me, this prayer has returned to me. He was already sowing the truth that I am held, secure, safe, and covered.
Ironically, I was asked to join our worship team for Church for the Sunday before Christmas. There was a new-to-me song on the list: Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor. Naturally, I chuckled. God, you’re good.
As I reflect on 2019 and peace, I see that He really did give us peace in multiple forms. Peace, at last, within the walls of our home. Peace in our marriage. Peace from various obstacles that are now resolved. But He also gave us this peace-which-transcends-understanding in circumstances unresolved. Wayward loved ones whose lives we sadly watch derail. The failing health of friends and family, even the passing into Glory of one sweet former foster child, Mayra. Storms around us which we can’t control. Lying lips, slandering tongues, sparks which light forests afire… peace. Insecurities, doubts, questions… peace. Fear, temptation, selfishness… peace. Peace which doesn’t make sense. Supernatural peace. Always available.
Peace that He, as our anchor, will keep us on course, regardless of the calm or the storm.