We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
— Hebrews 6:19-20 NIV
Just a few days ago our son, who lives in New York City with his family, called to ask if they could come down to Alabama and shelter in place with us for a few weeks. Since they are the parents of our first grandchild, I could barely contain the excitement of the possibility of them staying with us! In order to make the trip more bearable, our kids decided they would drive through the night so their three-year-old would be less miserable (understandable as you’re looking at a typical 16-hour drive). I made plans of what we would eat, what games I would play with Grand-girl, where everyone would sleep…and I was SOOO happy to prepare for WHO I knew was coming to my house.
The night of their trip, they called to say they were on the road and would arrive sometime around 6 am. I went to bed early so I could be standing on the driveway to greet them and have special Grand-girl time while the parents rested. But the other side of the hope coin flipped as I crawled into bed: My anticipation of something so wonderful became full of dread and fear of what could happen to them while driving through the night. An overwhelming wave of questions came crashing in on my emotional shores of “What if they get in an accident?” or “What if Grand-girl gets sick here with us?” or “What if they get sleepy and something happens?”…and on and on and on. I tossed and turned, I prayed, I checked my phone more times than I’m willing to admit, I sent messages through the night to make sure all was well. The moment of sheer relief when they drove into the driveway almost brought me to tears.
Throughout the day, I pondered on this double-sided coin of anticipation and dread, how my hope of a joy-filled visit could so easily turn into a space of fear and worry. And I’ve had to ask myself the hard question of where my hope really rests at this micro-level. It reminded me of the disciples coming and talking to Jesus about who was going to sit where in heaven. There was surely hope and anticipation because they were holding a serious conversation with Jesus on the matter to settle it NOW. This great event of an eternity with Jesus became a place of fear that they might be overlooked or put down or not valued enough. I’ve always heard pastors talk about how disgusted Jesus must have been with them, but in my mind’s eye, I see Jesus understanding the two-sided coin, and reminding them of what was really important…His presence with them in situations outside of their control. “I will be with you in the bad stuff that will come…and it WILL come,” He seems to say. He doesn’t give details but rather reminds them that God will take care of it all. I wonder how they pondered that conversation after watching His death and resurrection, and I wonder when the penny dropped on where their misplaced hope should have been all along.
I am in the midst of a joyous season with Grand-girl, and no amount of time is ever going to be enough. I delight in our days of talking and playing. But I want to anchor my hope and answer my dread in the Author and Finisher of my faith rather than on details that I can’t control. It’s still a battle, but I’m taking it a day at a time.
ACTION: Take some time and read through Mark 10:32-45. There’s so much happening in this chapter. Take time to put yourself in the story. What do you observe? What would you want to ask Jesus? How does Jesus respond to your requests? What are the waves tossing you around these days? Listen to God’s invitation to anchor in Him.
Prayer: Father, thank you that You are my anchor when my soul gets tossed around on the waves mixed with anticipation and fear. I want my hope to be in You rather than in the situations ahead of me. You are my sustainer…You are the lover of my soul.