– Acts 27:13 (NIV)
I cannot read that poor, deluded captain’s words without a shiver. Relying on the first century Roman Weather Service forecast, he blithely departed the safe harbor – ignoring the Apostle Paul’s heavenly forecast – right into the jaws of a ruthless cyclone.
By verse 29, nothing could save the ship from catastrophe … no matter how many anchors the crew dropped. And they dropped four!
Moral of the story: An anchor provides security through a storm, but only if it’s dropped in a secure place. (Like the harbor, where they should have waited out hurricane season, as Paul had warned them.)
What’s this got to do with us, two millennia later??
In his 1834 hymn, My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, Edward Mote included this timeless phrase: “In every high and stormy gale / My anchor holds within the veil.”
So … what’s this “veil”? Nineteenth-century spelling of “vale”—a peaceful valley? Nope.
Oh, I get it. An archaic word for harbor!? Wrong again.
Mr. Mote dug deep into the book of Hebrews to come up with this metaphorical gem:
“That … we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil...” - Hebrews 6:18-19 (NKJV)
The full sixth chapter of Hebrews deals with our place in prayer, in God’s covenant relationship … everything. And it’s all anchored sure and steadfast – no matter the “high and stormy gale” that seeks to wrench it loose – to God Himself, the “Presence behind the veil.”
To prevent any confusion, the writer of Hebrews goes on to say that it’s the veil where Jesus himself entered first as High Priest. That is, before the mercy seat of the Presence of God. With His atoning blood. Remember the veil that was “rent from top to bottom” as He shed that blood? Yes, and amen!
So, I can enter anytime, through prayer, and set my anchor in His presence. Then, as I walk out of the prayer closet and face a chaotic world … disease, riots in the streets, hatred, hopelessness … my anchor HOLDS sure and steadfast back there WITHIN THE VEIL!
On the other hand, I can whoop, “Anchors aweigh!” and charge into yet another prayerless morning. Then, by lunchtime, I’m frantically tossing anchors astern … gripping nothing but starfish on the sandy bottom, as my day hurtles toward shipwreck.
Why not pray --- daily! ...
"Father, thank You for the blood of Jesus Christ that ushers me within the veil. Please set my anchor today to the one truly IMMOVABLE OBJECT, Yourself!
In Jesus’ name. Amen"
Originally published as a “Bradstix” devotional on the National Minute of Prayer Facebook page 6/28/2020.
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