Anchored Soul

May 8, 2007
by Lisa McDaniel

Matthew 8:27 – But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (KJV)

Dad and I spent many mornings watching dawn break over our backyard pond. Fishing poles in hand, we waited for the slightest nibble. Often, we'd catch a few bream — enough to keep my hopes up.

As my tenth birthday neared, Dad hinted that he had a surprise for me. I awoke early, anticipating a gift, but found nothing. Then I saw Dad, smiling, dressed in fishing clothes, carrying a tackle box. Somewhat disappointed, I thought, "Just another day at our old pond."

Was I ever wrong! We hopped in his truck and drove away — but to my surprise, not toward the pond. When Dad pulled up to the seacoast, I was so excited! For the first time, I saw the ocean and huge fishing boats docked at the pier.

"Don't just sit there," Dad said. "Grab the tackle box and come on!" We walked past boats of different shapes and sizes. Then there it was — the monster of them all.

As I climbed the boat's ladder, I had no way of knowing I was entering a new stage of my life. Curiously, I watched the work going on around me: the captain shouting orders with authority and the deckhands performing their tasks efficiently.

Like a knife through butter, the boat parted the ocean, taking me on my first deep-sea fishing trip. Far from land, the captain killed the engine, and we began drifting. Then he ordered, "Drop the anchor." As the chain rattled over the side of the boat, I asked, "Dad, what does the anchor do?"

"It keeps the boat from drifting," he said. Satisfied with his brief explanation, I was eager to start fishing.

The day was perfect: plenty of sunshine, a cool breeze, and hungry fish! There's nothing to deep-sea fishing, I thought, simply drop the line, and reel in a fish. By midday, I considered myself a true, professional angler.

Dad and I were busy baiting our hooks, when the captain told us an approaching storm would cut the day short. Not wanting anything to spoil my fun, I said, "It's okay — the anchor will keep us steady." Chuckling, the captain said, "What faith you have, young lady!"

Heavy and hard, the storm struck. Rain pelted the deck, forcing us to take shelter. Violent winds rocked the boat; black clouds loomed overhead. My happiness turned to fear. Realizing this, Dad squatted so that his eyes were level with mine and said, "Not everything in life unfolds as we want; sometimes things are beyond our control. At those moments, just believe."

"Believe in what, Dad?"

"Anchors keep boats secure — as faith in God keeps people secure."

Eventually, the storm subsided, the ocean became smooth again, and the warm sun brightened my spirits. A wave of comfort swept over me when I realized that through faith, I had endured the storm, and was once again blessed with calm. On that special birthday, I learned the value of anchoring my soul in the Lord.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we ask for unwavering faith, knowing You are in control of our life's storms. Remind us that we are always anchored in Your security, and help us to focus on the calm You provide. You are the One Whom even the wind and sea obey. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lisa McDaniel
Oxford, Mississippi, USA

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