Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about anchors. In particular I have been reflecting over life events and have noticed that when storms come that could shipwreck my faith, God has always provided anchors. They are there if I will just look around and SEE. Of course he is our hope and our anchor but, the anchors that I am talking about are the things he puts in place to help me see Him, and hold on.
I could give many examples of this and I will provide a recent one. When I was about 14 or 15, someone gave me Isaiah 54 to meditate on. This chapter has been an anchor for me many times in life, and God has spoken to me again and again in different seasons through this passage. For me, it is a "life scripture". Recently (about 3 weeks ago) I arrived home in New Zealand for a 12 day visit. I arrived in Auckland late on a Thursday night and stayed with my friends Craig and Annette. On Friday, I had a full day running around in the car, running errands, shopping etc. Before I left in the morning Annette gave me a CD of a friend talking and said i had to listen as it was excellent. So as I drove I listened. My friend was talking about worship in hard times. She touched on Isaiah 54, and it starts, "sing, o barren woman ..." The scripture was a call to worship even in times of great difficulty and fruitlessness. The CD was excellent and encouraging and Annette told me to take it with me. I thought it would be a great one to share with friends here in Korea.
On the Tuesday I had to go and see a gynnie in Wellington as I had been having some issues. I was not prepared for the outcomes of that visit. Firstly my iron has hit rock bottom again ... the worst it has been for me ever and I am severely anaemic at the moment. She told me I was one step out of hospital and as a result I am now a walking pill bottle - taking 15 pills a day (not counting the meds I take for my tumor). In addition, she told me that I would need a hysterectomy at Christmas. She went through other options and explained why they would not be suitable for me. I went for a bunch of tests and went home.
The next day I had a phone call saying I had to go back in that afternoon for surgery as there were growths etc. I was afraid, and quite upset. Long story short, I did go in. I had a horrific time with the IV needle - they could not get it in and there were 5 attempts before they did. I am a bit of a toughy but I was actually balling by the end of it - couldn't speak, just cried. Even more traumatic when you have a needle phobia to begin with.
So, here I am back in Korea and this event has really rocked me. At 39 and still single, I had started to reconcile myself to the fact that I might not have children and I had been told a few years back that fertility could be an issue. However, in the past couple of weeks I have learnt that there is a gulf between might not and NEVER. To have the choice taken from me is quite devastating. I have never defined myself as a woman by being a mother. It has completely come out of left field and knocked me for a 6. So at the moment I am dealing with all sorts of emotion over this ... fear of the surgery and needles ... grief at never being able to conceive a child ... anger at the fruitlessness and lack of payoff for something that has been a negative in my life since it started. If I allowed myself, I could get caught up in the thought of, "enough God. I have to deal with my tumor, Ruby and now you are asking me to deal with this as well?" Each one of these things could derail me.
And yet ... I have to smile at the anchors God put out for me in this season. "SING o barren woman. SING. Worship me. Focus on me and not the storm. Don't be afraid. Be Still. Peace child." Once again, he has gone before me, putting in place the anchors for me to cling to ... he has provided safety in the storm. The timing of that CD was amazing. God was not caught by surprise by this season in my life. He knew it was coming.
While thinking about anchors, I did a little research. Did you know that the earliest anchors were rocks? We stand on THE rock. He is our firm place to stand. And as the scripture says, "when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock ..." That's where you will find me at the moment ... clinging on ...
"Basic anchoring consists of determining the location, dropping the anchor, laying out the scope, setting the hook, and assessing where the vessel ends up." (Wiki) God has already done this. He knows my location and where I will end up ... he has already prepared the anchor.
Wiki also informed me that, "A good anchorage offers protection from the current weather conditions, and will also offer protection from the expected weather." Well, what can I say there. He is my shelter from the storm.
I will leave you with this beautiful song by Steven Curtis Chapman ...
I have come to this ocean
And the waves of fear are starting to grow
The doubts and questions are rising with the tide
So I´m clinging to the one sure thing I know
I will hold on to the hand of my Savior
And I will hold on with all my might
I will hold loosely to things that are fleeting
And hold on to Jesus
I will hold on to Jesus for life
I´ve tried to hold many treasures
They just keep slipping through my fingers like sand
But there´s one treasure that means more than breath itself
So I´m clinging to it with everything I am
Like a child holding on to a promise
I will cling to His word and believe
As I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me
Hold on for life
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Well actually, it's back in Seoul but it doesn't have the same catchy tune as "Back in the USSR ..."
Sorry, not a lot of blogging going on at the moment ... Had a few biggies to deal with lately ... I look at my blog, read the last two posts and at the moment, I can't believe the timing of writing them. The last 2 weeks have brought some challenges and I really don't have much to add to those two posts ... just needing to meditate on them at the moment.
I will blog more later but can I leave you with one thought blog buddies? ... It's this. When people are going through dark times or hard times, its okay to come alongside them and just be. You don't need to say anything ... just be... Sometimes, life is hard and tough things happen. We don't know how to respond to loved ones going through stuff ... and sometimes, we try to make it better. Sometimes, it is just not going to be better. And you know what? Thats okay. We deal. Stuff has happened for me in the last two weeks that is a bit difficult to deal with. One of my dear friends rang me after I texted her and she said, "I don't know what to say. Its awful." And you know what ... she was right. It is awful. Nothing will change that.
What meant the world to me, was that she rang anyway.
Know that in the midst of our dark times, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. God is never caught by surprise. When you don't know what to say or do ... just be. It's okay. HE knows.