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As an anchor of hope

If there was ever a time we need one, it’s now.

This past week I attended the funerals of two dear friends in my hometown. I’d known them and their families most all of my life and even attended church with them for a number of years.

But, both of them passed away within a day of each other and the families asked me if I’d help out in the services — singing in one and preaching in the other. I was glad to oblige, for, again, I’d known them for many years, even though it’d been a number of years since I’d seen them.

One of them was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago and underwent the usual regiment of treatments. However, the dreaded disease finally took its toll on her and she went Home to Heaven with her family standing around her bed, singing “Amazing Grace.”

The other one went in for a routine surgery and everything went fine. Afterwards, while still in ICU, she talked and laughed with her family, looking forward to going home. But, 15 minutes after their visit, evidently a blood clot broke loose and quickly took her life. Here one minute, gone the next.

Two great ladies. Two dear friends. Two close families.

But, within a day of each other … for different reasons … they went “the way of all flesh” and entered their eternal reward … which reminded me of the brevity of life, the certainty of death and the importance of being ready.

As I drove home after the second funeral, I reflected on all of this and gave thanks that both of these ladies were ladies of Faith. Years ago, they placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord and He became for them that “sure-and-steadfast Anchor” described in Hebrews 6:18-19.

That’s why they weren’t afraid to die. And, that’s why their families were comforted during this time of great sorrow and separation.

As we know, an anchor helps keep a boat stabilized in rough waters and held firm to a specific location. But, there are times when the waters are too deep for an anchor; or, during stormy weather even large ships will weigh anchor and leave the safety of the harbor to ride it out in deeper water.

With Christ as the “Anchor of the Soul,” we can always rest assured that He will keep us safe-and-secure when a tsunami of problems is threatening to swamp us. Or, during our turbulent, troubled times He is that Lighthouse of Hope that shines in the darkness, directing our path and reminding us that all is well.

Even more, He is not far-off in Heaven looking down on us, wishing us well; instead, He is right there in the boat with us as “a very present Help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). And, He has promised to not abandon ship when the going gets rough (Heb. 13:5b).

In Hebrews 6:18, it talks about this Anchor being held by two “immutable things” (i.e., that which is unchangeable or unbreakable). And, what might those two “chains” be? Quite simply, “Who God is and what He has promised—His Person/Character and Promises/Conduct” (Heb. 11:6).

Therefore, in this time of turbulent uncertainty, here’s hoping you have that Anchor. Always remember this Anchor ascends into the heights (Heb. 6:20) instead of descending down into the depths. And, the One Who holds those two chains has nail-scars in His Hands to remind us that He knows exactly what we’re going through because He’s “been there, done that” (Heb. 4:14-16). Hallelujah!

It’s all about faith/trust. Look to Him now. Call upon Him if you’re at your wit’s end (Psalm 107:27-30). He’ll hear and answer. So rest in Him as you hear Him say, “Don’t be afraid. Peace, be still!”

To contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com.

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