If you were around last Sunday you'll have heard me speak on Jesus walking on water from John chapter 6. My main point was that if you're in a storm then invite Jesus into the boat with you, as He's the one with supernatural power to calm the storm, either by removing the storm or giving you peace in it. If you missed it, or want to catch it again, you can listen to it here.
Before the meeting Becca Taylor, who has been speaking over the last two weeks on how to get started in prayer as part of our sofa conversations, shared with me a picture she felt God had given before her before the meeting. There wasn't time to share it in the meeting, but I thought I'd blog it below as I think people might find it encouraging and helpful.
This Sunday we're celebrating Mother's Day at our morning meetings in Bracknell and Sandhurst, then in the evening we'll be gathering together to pray and worship. Hope to see you there.
I had a picture of a tiny rowing boat, filled with all sorts of packages. They were wrapped up or covered over, but each one represents the things we hold in our lives: family, relationships, health, careers, jobs, finances, hopes, aspirations, status, homes, achievements, challenges, joys and more.
This boat, full of cargo, sat in the middle of a raging sea. The sky was dark, the waves crashed overhead and all around with power and force which looked like it would overwhelm the little boat. But, even though it was getting battered and beaten, it remained in one spot, it was not tossed about by the ocean as you might expect. It remained in the same place throughout the storm.
Then I looked down below the chaos of the winds and waters and I could see a long rope down to the bottom of the waters, it was attached to a sturdy and weighty anchor. The size of the anchor and the depth at which it rested was completely disproportionate to the size of the boat, it was a deep sea anchor. In fact the boat was out at a depth way beyond where you would expect to find a boat of its kind. Yet it survived because of the anchor.
The anchor is God. The rope is prayer. When we build a deep, strong, regular connection with God, willing to communicate the very core of who we are with complete honesty, and then when we listen to His words into our lives through the Bible and through the Holy Spirit we become anchored by God. We are free to go out into the deep seas of life, where storms are possible and perhaps even likely, into the situations which feel too big for us, without fear of being overcome by the waves because we are anchored to the one who controls the wind and the waves.
Some of the cargo needs to be thrown overboard during the storm, other cargo needs to be protected through the storm. But throughout we are able to withstand and not be overwhelmed, because of our relationship with God.
Then I saw another boat, similar in size and appearance, but without an anchor, or even a rope to attach an anchor to. It was being beaten and battered and thrown around, unable to withstand the storm. It was thrown towards the anchored row boat and then tethered to it. Now this new boat could withstand the storm because it was connected, albeit indirectly, to the anchor.
We are like that; as we cultivate our connection with God and allow Him to anchor us through life's storms we are able to hold in, protect and support others who find themselves in the same stormy waters, by sharing our journey with them, by tethering them to ourselves. As the boats sat together in the midst of the storm the anchorless boat began to put down a rope, slowly but surely towards the anchor. Our connection with God enables others to build their own relationship with Him and to experience 'the anchor' for themselves.