We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 New International Version

               I just saw anchors at work—twice.

The first time was during our recent fishing trip off Vancouver Island.

On our last morning, we headed out to a bountiful spot, seeking ling cod. The ocean seemed calm, like poured grey silk in the dawn light. Our fishermen dropped their lines, only to find that, underneath, the ebb tide, strengthened by the full moon, was pulling us away to sea.

So we lowered the anchor. Though the tide stayed strong all morning, twisting the boat about so much it snarled the fishing lines together beneath us, the anchor held. Then waves, forerunners of a coming storm, began to build. Our boat rode up and down over rolling hills of water taller than she was. Again the anchor held—so strongly that the captain had trouble pulling it up when it was time to leave.

Little did I know, as we pulled safely into the harbor and prepared to leave, a storm of grief and sorrow was breaking at home.

When we drove out of camp far enough for service, my cellphone pinged; I stared in horror at the screen. Old friends had lost a daughter and grandson in a horrible boating accident on the Yellowstone.

My heart broke. Their grandson was nearly the same age as the boy I’d been laughing with on the boat, just as bright, full of life and precious as he. I’d known their daughter as a little girl, saw her bloom into lovely womanhood. A floodtide of sorrow, doubt and fear broke over me. My faith lost its footing in the unanswerable questions: “Why them? Why now? Why didn’t You…?”

“I am the resurrection and the life,” whispered the Voice. “whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)

Ah, yes. I’d let the storm blind my vision.

This sin-haunted world breaks our hearts, leaving us suffering, bleeding, questioning our faith in the goodness of God. We will all die…some of us way too soon and way too suddenly. We can never understand why; that path leads only to futility and despair.

BUT…because of Jesus, death is not the final word. We have life everlasting in the world as God meant it to be. These two, even now, are dancing in fields of glory.

That is our hope, our anchor, firm and secure–no matter how high the waves or strong the flood.

And that second anchor will hold us all the way to eternity.

DEAR JESUS: Thank You for defeating death for us. So even in sorrow, we have hope. Amen.

First published in “Bozeman Daily Chronicle,” August 19, 2018.