Our family loves being out on the water. We live on the gulf coast of Florida and take our boat out often. We have both the bay and the ocean side to choose from. I generally prefer going the ocean side because that’s where the "pretty turquoise water is", as I like to tell my husband (he likes the bay side). The problem is, we have a flats boat for backwater fishing in CALM waters. Even though the gulf is more calm than the Atlantic, some days the waters are rough. That means that we get thrown around, splashed like crazy, and feel a good brunt of the waves.
We are well acquainted with our anchor. We like to anchor the boat near shore and wade up to the beach. When the waters are rough, we set the anchor and it holds. Despite the wind and despite the waves, the anchor holds. It’s not always comfortable. The waves are strong, the sea-spray can cause a chill, and sometimes we get motion sickness from the swaying of the boat. The anchor doesn’t make it a cushy adventure, but it keeps us grounded and secure. It doesn’t take the discomfort away. But. It. Holds.
The anchor isn’t just about holding in times of trouble. There's also another side to the anchor. In addition to adding stability in the storm, it provides stability for us to experience joyful moments during the smooth sailing times of life. I can think of many times that we have anchored in a new location out on the water because it was beautiful and we wanted to explore. Without the anchor, our boat would have drifted away, depriving us of the opportunity to experience an exciting adventure.
On this roller coaster of life, Jesus is the anchor. He not only grounds us in times of trial, but His stability and foundation also enable us to live fully. His boundaries and truth, enrich our lives, allowing us to experience true contentment. Life can be uncomfortable and challenging, but when we keep our gaze on Jesus and our faith in Him, we are grounded and secure—even in the storms. Regardless of what difficulties we may face, at the end of the day, He remains our one sure thing. His anchor holds.
Yesterday started out rough. It was not my favorite day. We woke up early and drove 30 minutes to an 8:00 AM cardiology appointment for my middle man. He has a minor heart condition that we discovered two years ago and monitor every six months. An impending surgery lies on the horizon, but each visit gives us hope that the surgery continues to be “down the road”. Until yesterday. Yesterday, we were officially referred to the pediatric cardiac surgeon.
Here we go…I’m going to have to put on my big girl undies and ready myself for this next journey. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to get carried away with worry. But, at the same time, my mama heart cringes at the thought.
I can see myself nervously pacing the halls while he’s in surgery. I can envision him writhing in pain during his recovery. I can see a zippered scar down his beautiful chest. I can hear the beeps of monitors. The thoughts of these images stir up a heaviness in my heart. And if I’m honest, there’s a big part of me that remembers much too clearly standing in a cold hospital room as my youngest son made his journey to heaven just 18 months ago.
Stay present I whisper to myself. Focus on the here and now.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
I picked up the phone and called a close friend. After giving her a brief update, she asked me what my mama heart was telling me. “I have already lost one child. I can’t lose another” I responded, my voice cracking over the phone. She assured me and we prayed.
Here I am again, in this painful yet beautiful journey of life, faced with a choice. How am I going to respond to this situation? This nerve wracking trial that I have no control over… This difficult journey my middle man will have to face, in which I would gladly take his place…
The truth is, I can’t control anything in this life except for one thing, my RESPONSE. I can control my response.
I breathe. I pause. I shift. I shift my focus from the circumstance and fix my gaze on my savior. Speaking truth over my heart, peace envelopes me.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
My God is mighty and can do anything. He may choose to miraculously intervene and eliminate this heart issue altogether, or he may allow us to face the challenge of open heart surgery. Regardless of what comes, we have peace. A supernatural peace that surpasses all human understanding. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I can take comfort in the fact that I know the ONE who holds tomorrow and He is worthy of my trust. This assurance provides the peace that this mama’s heart needs to make it to the next day. This amazing, supernatural peace that envelopes my heart and whispers in my ear, It will be okay. Whatever comes….when you have Jesus, even if it's not okay in this life, it WILL be okay.
Friends, the storms of life are inevitable. I promise you, they will come. When they do, will you withstand? Are you allowing Jesus to be your anchor? Take His hand, trust in Him and allow Him to anchor your journey in life.