The anchor holds -----(Yes, the anchor holds)
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I hear the raging seas
But the anchor holds in spite of the storm.
God bless you today - be encouraged! He will get you through your storm!
~ ~ ~
I can testify to the above. Not only has the LORD been my anchor over the past few days, but my head has felt like one as well.
Last Wednesday evening was not a particularly happy one for me. I was having an awful week at work, diverted onto a fruitless, endless project doomed to end in professional ignominy for me. My wife was out of town, gone home to be with her father as he lay on his deathbed. I wasn't able to make AWANA (again). Life was pretty much sucking canal water.
A few hours later I felt like I had been doing just that - literally. I had dozed off on my favorite couch, and the next thing I knew I was sitting bolt upright, the room spinning sickeningly around me in a typhoon of vertigo. The couch that has been so good to me these past seven years was rewarded with a tsunami of vomit that came pouring out of me in spectacular, fetid, fountaining waves. I hadn't thought I had eaten that much in the previous week, much less for dinner. My living room floor looked like the aftermath of a bulimics' convention.
However, unlike every previous instance of nausea I had suffered since the last time I got this sick, it just kept coming. Eventually I ran out of stomach contents, then small intestinal contents, then large intestinal contents. Ultimately I ran out of digestive tract. So I proceeded right into dry heaving, and just kept going. I clenched my eyes tightly shut against the dizzying, tornadal assault on my visual senses, only to be greeted by the sensation of what seemed like my very consciousness itself being sucked down a dark, enormous whirlpool.
There's a line from Matrix Reloaded
. Neo has just encountered the new, improved, "liberated" Agent Smith and his attempt to assimilate him in Borg-like fashion. Morpheus and Trinity ask him what Smith was trying to do to him. Neo replies, "I don't know, but I know what it felt like; it felt like I was back in that hallway [where he "died" in the first Matrix
] - it felt like dying." I've never died (yet), but that sure felt awfully and uncomfortably close to it.
It also felt alone. My wife, remember, wasn't home. I was unable to cry out. My kids were asleep. If that had been "it," there'd have been no stopping it. I pictured my daughter and son finding my remains on the couch, or the floor, slowly stiffening. I wasn't ready for my week to start sucking that badly.
But God was with me. He got me through it. But that was just the first step.
My next thought was, "What the heck has happened to me? Is this a virus? Or is it something else, something worse?" I had my son do a little online research last Friday. I wasn't reassured. When I tried to drift off into fitful sleep Friday night (no mean feat when you've been on your back for the previous forty-eight hours), still without my wife, it was with these fears and anxieties cloistered around me as the vertigo and vomiting had been the day before. And to top that off, my father-in-law passed away early Friday morning, and I was unable to comfort my better half.
So what else could I do? I clung to the LORD. I claimed every promise from Scripture that I could remember. I experienced His peace amidst the storm. And I fell asleep.
Over the weekend I improved steadily. Saturday I transferred my convalescence to that self same couch, which had been thoroughly cleaned by my daughter, who has been an angel of mercy to me. Yesterday my eyes resumed focusing and I could read again, and spent most of the day seated instead of supine. Today my balance is still a little affected (ruling out driving) and I'm getting my stamina back, but compared to where I was....well, let's just say that between that and my wife's dad passing away, it's been a long time since I wept. Not great, wracking sobs, but the eye-leaking was unmistakable. As is my gratitude to God for His healing touch.
And, as an ironic if appropo twist, my right eye is almost as red as that of my alter ego
~ ~ ~
Many years ago, while watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a Church in Atlanta honoring one of it's senior pastors who had been retired many years... He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the Church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age. After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gate to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind, he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....
"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heart break and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me...the only thing that would comfort was this verse..........
"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong, we are weak but he is strong.....
Yes, Jesus loves me...
The Bible tells me so.
"When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his foot steps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it."
Nor will I.