“Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.”
Amazing Grace by John Newton, Verse 5
My friend and I chatted yesterday as we sat with my husband who is now bedridden with Parkinson’s, dementia and feet wounds that refuse to heal. We thought about this fifth verse of John Newton’s famous hymn, Amazing Grace. My friend shared that an anchor is the sailor’s symbol for hope. A boat that is anchored is securely connected even as a storm tosses around it. Newton expressed this sense of a storm by saying when my flesh fails — when we are sick and our bodies flounder — and when our heart fails — when we become weak — if we are anchored in faith, we can weather a storm. He did not deny storms and trials but having our lives anchored in the risen Christ who walked through the worst storm that brought death, gives us hope because we know he is alive and risen.
The apostle Paul says it this way, “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, (Hebrews 6:19)”. The Living Bible translates it this way and captures the image of a boat anchored in a storm, “And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Let us use that image of a boat anchored safely as a picture we can pray about for our concerns and our world. Blessing.