Bible Studies Devotional Words Of Encouragement By Don Doran / last year Share Tweet Pin Share Anchored to the Cross In the past few years we have seen the impact a hurricane can make on lives. They can be so destructive. They are strong forceful winds that come out of the sea and most times exceed 100 miles per hour. Several years ago, so folks we knew were on their honeymoon in Hawaii when a hurricane struck. They were evacuated from their hotel to a school gymnasium. The groom climbed to the top of the bleachers and videoed the storm from a small window there. We watched as the wind literally ripped roofs off houses and then the house would collapse. We saw it turn over parked cars. While the storm was taking place, it ripped a section of roof off the gym. When this happened, the bride, who only weighed ninety pounds, was caught by two men as she was being sucked out of the building. I was raised in the redwoods on California’s north coast. I have seen trees which were twelve feet thick and three hundred and fifty feet tall. These are trees that can be dated back to the flood and beyond. My family stayed in a motel that was entirely made from one redwood tree. I have also seen hurricane force winds blow over these giant redwood trees, completely up-rooting a tree that has stood for thousands of years, In December of 1977 a storm struck and blew down more than one hundred redwoods along a twenty five mile stretch of highway. My father rebuilt a house for some folks who had a tree drop on each end of their home. I am a land lover; I like mountains, rivers and lakes. I don’t sail and have little knowledge of the sea other than I lived close to the ocean most of my life. I have been told, and I have no personal experience in this so I have to go on what I have heard, that if you are in a boat during a hurricane the only hope you have of surviving is, not in tying to a tree or to the peer. It is also not tying in anyway to the land. Your only hope is to anchor deep, leave the rope slack and hope for the best. The chance is that someone is reading this and is about to get caught in a storm, a hurricane of life. The weather is brewing! The water is rising! You can see the trees bending! Perhaps the winds have already reached gale force and you are holding on for your life! Waves begin to suck your joy out to sea! Winds that begin to rip out our hopes by their roots! Rising tides that seep under the doors of our lives and cover the floors of our hearts! You might say, “Well that is not me! I am not having any problems!” That is wonderful, my friend, but hold on because in life there are one of three situations concerning a storm. You have either just had one, are in one, or you are going to have one. It is like a friend of mine told me about motorcycle riders. He had just had a bike wreck and he said there are two kinds of riders. There are those who have had a wreck and those who are going to have a wreck. The same is true with the storms of life. Paul tells us in Colossians 2:6-7, As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (KJV) In other words, Paul was telling us that we need to be anchored to the Cross. When the storm comes we need to anchor deep and ride out the storm with our anchor sunk in the Cross. One anchor point that we need to understand in the midst of a storm is my life is not useless. Many times you are tired, weary of being slapped by the waves of broken dreams. We become weary of being stepped on and run over. We are weary of trusting someone only to have that trust returned in an envelope with no return address. Beware! Weariness distorts our thinking! Weariness affects our reactions! You ask yourself is it worth it? Will it be worth the price I have to pay? In Psalms 107 starting with verse 21 there is a description of a storm. It describes the boat being tossed up and down. It speaks of the wind and the waves. It expressed the impact of the storm on the boat and the sailors, going as far as to say the sailors walked as a drunken man. My mind instantly related because I have been there in life. To the point, in the storm, where I was so disoriented I felt as a drunk must feel, not able to walk safely. It seemed this passage is almost prophetic of a time in the New Testament when Jesus spoke to His disciples and said let’s go to the other side of the lake. They all got into the boat carrying their gear. Some brought baggage. Others carried the leftovers of the day. Someone probably had the latest life preserver on the market. Jesus, however, got into the boat carrying a pillow. The storm came and tossed the ship about to the point these men thought they were going to die. They looked around and found Jesus asleep in the bottom of the ship on that pillow. They woke Him up and He calmed the storm. He then turned to them and said, why were you fearful, why don’t you have faith? Now I have often wondered about that. They had faith in that they came to the master of the sea to save them. I don’t believe that is what He was referring to. I believe He was referring back to when He told them let’s go to the other side, why didn’t they have the faith they would make it to the other side and not be destroyed at sea. He was asleep on a pillow; He was telling them from the beginning, everything is going to be alright. Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” That rest is a refreshing and also a restoration. It is recreational as if you have gone on vacation and you return renewed. God said that with stammering lips and another tongue would He speak to this people and this would be the rest that would cause the weary to rest and this would be the refreshing. When was the last time you prayed in the Spirit? When was the last time you allowed the Holy Ghost to cleanse you of the cares of this world and pressures of life. When was the last time you prayed beyond a normal prayer and entered into a Spiritual realm of prayer allowing the Holy Ghost to refresh you, allowing the Holy Ghost to rest you? A second anchor point would be to realize that my failures are not incurable, they are not fatal. If you could do it over again you would do it differently. You would be a different person. You would be more patient. You would control your tongue. You would finish what you started. You would turn the other cheek. However, we can’t always do it over; we just have to learn from our mistakes and failures. We have to grow from there. In Acts 13:13 we find a man who was a failure, John Mark. He was traveling with Barnabas and Paul on a missionary journey when he decided to return home. In Acts 15:36-41, his failure caused the break-up of a great missionary team Paul and Barnabas. They were starting out again and Barnabas wanted to take John Mark. Paul said no he let us down before and we can’t depend on him. This brought about a split. Barnabas took John Mark with him and Paul took Silas. How do you think John Mark felt about this? Don’t you think it made him feel like a failure? On April 1, 1984 my wife and I accepted the pastorate of a Church, thus starting eighteen months of one of the most severe storms of our lives. In those few months all ten families moved away. They had all moved there because of the former pastor and when he left they had no reason to stay so they left. We spent almost a year teaching a couple Home Bible Studies. I performed their marriage ceremony. At the end of the Bible studies she decided she couldn’t believe in a God who would send someone to hell. We won another couple to the Lord, and stood on our porch one night and watched as they drove out of our lives, never to see or hear from them again. We finally returned home in defeat, marked in our minds, as failures. Wondering if we would ever have a ministry or were even called into the ministry. Feeling like a failure haunts your every moment. I remember thinking I would never feel the anointing again. I honestly felt like I would never laugh again. Our ship of life was rocked, it was tossed, and I was disoriented! Yet somehow the anchor in the Cross held fast! God has blessed us with a tremendous ministry since and there are people who are living for God to day that have our finger prints on their lives. 2 Tim 4:11 shows us that failure was not fatal. Paul writes: “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” (NIV) Hey, I need Mark! No he is not a failure! He has learned and he has grown and now he can help me. It seemed like Jesus was a failure at the cross. They had turned against Him. His disciples were disillusioned and scattered. He was dead! However, the cross was the beginning of the rest of the story! Storms come to pass, not to stay. When we are in a storm, it dominates our lives. It seems that all you can hear is the wind. All you know is the brutality of the storm. Being from California we learned some new things about storms when we moved to Arkansas. A storm hit late one Saturday night our first year in Arkansas, in fact it was the night before Easter. I went to bed thinking about the Easter Service the next day. I was not worried about a storm; actually I had no thoughts about one. A little after 2:00 AM in the morning I was rudely awakened, as was the whole house, by a fierce storm! When I awoke, all I could hear was the scream of the wind, and the long wailing cry of a distant siren. It sounded like there was a jet airplane right over our house! There was a feeling of confusion and bewilderment. There was uncertainty and fear! This California kid didn’t know what was happening. But finally, the intensity began to decrease, and we knew it was going to be all right. We had survived the storm, which we learned later was a tornado passing over. The following morning when I stepped outside to go to church, there were things scattered everywhere. Neighbors had tree branches that were down. Another neighbor had part of his roof torn off his home. As I walked down the steps, I looked down in the flower bed along the walk and there, standing tall and straight, was a small, young flower. It hadn’t been there the day before when I had worked in the yard. It had grown during the night. It had weathered the storm. It had withstood the best the storm had to throw against it. There in the calm after the storm, it still survived as a testimony of the beauty of all of God’s handiwork. It stood because it was anchored deep. I really feel I am talking to someone who needs to come, once again, to the foot of the cross and set your anchor deep. How long has it been since you shed tears, at the foot of the cross? How long has it been since you acknowledged your need for Jesus Christ in your life? It is time to come to the cross, for the storms of life are guaranteed to come and our only hope for survival is if anchor ourselves to the Cross! God Bless!