The Anchor

The Anchor

 Jesus Did It!


In times like these, we need a Savior
In times like these, we need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock

The rock is Jesus, yes He’s the One
This rock is Jesus, the only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock

(“In Times Like These” by Ruth Caye Jones)


One of the most fascinating men who ever lived was a sea captain named James Cook.  I have always been interested in reading about him, because I have traveled to many of the places where he explored the world of the late 1700s in a creaky sailing vessel, Resolution, with a sister-ship named Discovery. 


I live here in Alaska on a bluff across the bay of Cook Inlet, which goes into Prince William Sound, named by Cook for the English king's third son. Our largest city, Anchorage, lies at its entrance.  Captain Cook's two ships anchored here for repairs after a near-disastrous leak had sprung in the Resolution, but on his charts it was called "Cape Hold-with-Hope".   They had left England to find the elusive passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic, but it was never found, and afterwards they would head out into the Alaska peninsula, which in turn fractures into the Aleutian chain.

Finding a suitable anchorage always concerns sailors.  Along the coast of Cape Horn, in 1578, Sir Francis Drake's chaplain wrote:

"The winds were such as if the bowels of the earth had set all at liberty, or as if all the clouds under heaven had been called together to lay their force upon that one place.  The seas...were rolled up from the depths, even from the base of the rocks, as if they had been a scroll of parchment...The impossibility of anchoring or spreading any sail, the most made seas, the lee shores, the dangerous rocks, the contrary and most intolerable winds...all offered us such small likelihood of escaping destruction, that if the special providence of God himself had not supported us, we could never have endured this woeful state..."

Ruth Jones' "In Times Like These" speaks of such situations where all that can be done by man's efforts is exhausted and were it not for the LORD, we could not make it through our trials to lower our anchor into the safe "Cape Hold-with-Hope". 


Surely, all of us are familiar with such moments where terror could overwhelm our minds when all about us we see the waves roaring and rising above our heads. Cook had once been shocked to discover worms had eaten away at his ship, and another time that coral had ripped the hull and ice coated the rigging as they navigated through the icebergs of Antarctica.  It was never easy, nor was it ever certain they would return back to England safely.  How many times their journals reflect their trust in the Lord.


I will never forget that first time when the doctor told me I had cancer many years ago.  I simply smiled at him and said, "That is not too hard for God."  I was not being brave...I just knew I had no other recourse but to trust the Lord.  He was shocked...but also smiled.  "Oh, you're one of those Pentecostals who believe God heals, right?"  Then he told me of the many times he had slipped away when he could go to some meetings where they prayed for the sick--curious to see if it was true or not. "You'll be an interesting case for me," he answered.  "Can I call  your pastor and pray with him?"  I was happy to give him his number. 


That night I was awakened in the darkness by an awful presence in my room at the foot of my bed.  It was Satan.  "You're going to die and your husband will have no wife, your children no mother."  I lay there, realizing that the enemy was attacking and I must resist him. "No, devil, I will not die.  I will live and declare the works of the Lord."  He left me, but returned again the next night.  He repeated his threats, and I again resisted him with the same words.  He left again.  Then on the third night he came once more. "You are going to die. Your husband will have no wife, your children no mother."  I knew that I was was all his devilish work to wear me down.  But I was not going to give in.  I again told him, "Devil, you can come back as many times as you wish, but the answer will always be the same: I will not die, I will live and declare the works of the Lord."  He left, and did not return for many years...until the next battle 27 years later.  God took me through that dark valley, and the doctor was so amazed...when he went to remove it from my bladder, it changed color and form right before his very eyes and was not cancerous after all.  He testified to it himself. 


Will God be there for us in such perils?  The Apostle Paul told of God's angel, "who stood by me" when he was shipwrecked and "in the deep" for three days and nights.  Peter knew such times when Jesus had beckoned him to come walk on the water.  He had made it look so easy...yet fear began to attach itself to Peter's senses at the sight of the waves, and he began to sink.  But at his cry, Jesus' hand took his and became an anchor to a solid rock. 


Right at this moment it is 4 am, and as I lay here in my bed with this laptop computer writing, I too am anchored in that certain "Cape Hold-with-Hope", for repairs of a different kind, for an inspection I have learned that my vessel once again has cancerous cells eating away at my hull.  All around me Satan flashes pictures of destruction.  They look ominous.  Yet I know what I must do---what I have done many times before and God was always faithful to deliver me:


Stay aboard the Resolution and anchor in Cape Hold-with-Hope! 




Once, as I was reading the scriptures, I found in the book of Psalms where David wrote:

"O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.  Now also

when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shown thy strength unto this generation,

and thy power to every one that is to come." (Psalm 71:17).


The Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, "That scripture is for you."  And how faithfully God has preserved me over these many years as I sought to bring knowledge of his strength and power to this generation, wherever He led me over the seas of this planet.  I know He will not forsake me until He decides (not Satan) my time on this earth is finished.  And so, the other day I wrote Satan a note to remind him of that fact. 


Many of you are wondering...will she die of cancer?  will she be healed?  Those are the silent thoughts that pass through our minds which make us teeter back and forth between tears and hope.  Dear ones, I have asked the Lord to heal me...not because I need extra years, or because I do not want to suffer.  I have asked Him because I want, above all, that David's scripture will be fulfilled in my life to encourage every person who struggles with faith and fear.  I am certain He will answer my prayer. 


Dear friend, if you are fighting to get into that safe anchorage--remember who it is that calms the seas.   He may be asleep in the back of your boat somewhere, seemingly oblivious to your concerns.  But  remember this--no Good Captain ever grumbles or is angry when you wake Him up. 


After all, it's His ship....






NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are questioning in your heart what this Christian life is all about and would like to know more about being reconciled to God, please click here to learn how you can do that.  Thank you and God bless you!


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