Written by the fantastic Sarah Long. Sarah works for the Diocese of Winchester as Youth Adviser having previously worked for Romance Academy and as a Youth Worker in Camberley. Follow her on Twitter at @snailsarah
Read: Hebrews 6:13-7:10
I love a good thunder storm. A week ago I found myself in a tent in the middle of France, high on a hill, with the most dramatic thunder and light night I’d ever experienced exploding around me. Inside my tent I was dry, I felt reasonably safe, and I could snuggle up in my sleeping bag and revel at the drama unfolding around me.
I’m not such a fan of the storms that hit my life. The friendship that begins to unravel. The illness that strikes my family. The fear of messing everything up at work. When the storms hit, I feel exposed, scared, abandoned, lost.
I wonder what storms you’re facing at the moment?
It’s felt like a pretty stormy couple of weeks across our county. The clouds seemed to gather before the EU referendum, and there’s been no shortage of thunder and lightning since the nation voted – unstable stock markets, confused political systems, outbreaks of racism across the country. And there’s little to help us figure out when and whether the storms will pass.
Many of us are fearful, angry, confused.
Where do we turn when the rain is thundering, the clouds are shouting, and the heavens seem to be exploding?
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19
There were a lot of sailors around when this letter was written. When storms hit for sailors, they knew they had one hope – the anchor. They’d drop the anchor over the edge of the boat, let it reach the sea bed, keep them strong and firm in the raging waters, flashes of lighting and pouring rain, and hope against hope that peaceful weather would soon come.
We have this hope as an anchor…
Some people think that the bible teaches if we become Christians then our lives will be easy. Far from it, the bible seems to promise the opposite – that chances are our lives will face more challenges and hardships because we have chosen to follow Jesus.
Rather than promising a life without troubles, the Bible makes a different promise – we can trust God. We can trust the Father. We can trust the Son. We can trust the Spirit.
In the midst of the worst storms life can throw at us, we can trust that Jesus, our High Priest, goes ahead of us, stands before God, and keeps us safe with him. All we need to do is hold on to him, our anchor, and no matter what life throws at us, even if the consequences are death, we are safe in the love of God, in relationship with him, and he holds our eternal future safe in his hand.
NT Wright, the theologian, puts it this way: ‘We are not promised that there won’t be any storms; indeed, the provision of a secure anchor implies that there will be. What we are promised is that we will be kept safe.’
No one can ever separate us from the presence and love of God.
So whatever the skies look like for you today, whether they are clear and sunny, or whether they are lit up by flashes of lightning and shouting with peels of thunder, hold on to the anchor for your soul. Hold on. Jesus won’t let you go. He’s holding on to you for eternity.
Thank you God that whatever life throws our way, this is immovable – you love us, Jesus has made it possible for us to enter your presence, you are going to bring us home to you. We bring all that we are struggling with, fearing or fighting right now, and we give it to you. We trust you, even though it’s hard. Help us. Amen.