Today our church closed by singing this hymn. Our younger son was personally and deeply offended that although he watched our worship director sing it, I did not have it on my phone. To him, the phone is the keeper of all music ever written. I had to convince him I don’t have every song they ever sing in church, but that I would pass along his “suggestion” that it be recorded for any future records.
I’ve made no secret that I do love old hymns. It’s something about the history of knowing thousands of believers have sung them before me and, Lord willing, thousands more will. One line of the chorus stood out especially right now as we are in the midst of unknowns and in between living:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
Because right now, my bark is feeling pretty small and frail. We started the year with such excitement and hope, and now we are clinging to those tattered strings of hope, threads that can’t be broken but that can be so hard to hold. And sometimes, I really don’t want the wind to blow it’s wildest.
But then I remember the conversation I had with my oldest yesterday. We were sitting just the two of us on our deck, him quietly playing and me reading, and he said “I feel abandoned. Do you, Mom?” Taken aback, since I was clearly right there with him and also because that was a huge word for a five year old, I asked what he meant. He said “I feel like everyone left us.” This kid…who feels everything so much stronger and deeper, and yet has the hardest time of any of us communicating his feelings, was trying to tell me how isolated he feels right now. He lives for and loves people, and these last five months have really hit him the hardest.
I’m not a role model mom; aren’t we all just doing our best? I really wanted to continue enjoying my own quiet time, but I put down my book and asked him if he wanted to take a walk with me to get the mail. While we were talking I told him no matter what, even when he feels the abolute most alone and abandoned ever, he is not. We sang a song that God will never leave us or forsake us…so when we feel alone, we can remember that and know that.
So of course, when our pastor today preached about what we talked about yesterday, I at first was hoping my oldest was listening (spoiler alert, he wasn’t) and then realized the message was really for me (man, I hate it when that happens).
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As the chorus continues, if you keep listening or singing, it finishes with a reassurance that as long as we put our trust on Christ as our anchor in this life, we have nothing to fear. I still have no answers for the future, both immediate and far into the distance, but I know that as long as I remember these promises, the same ones I told my son only yesterday, my future is secure.
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.