By Carol Clark
“How forcible are right words!” Job asserted passionately to his friends (Job 6:25).
Reading Job recalls to me how true his statement is. Right wordsand all they meanapplied to daily life are a true source of strength, direction, and support no matter what others might say.
In a very real sense this alphabet of gospel principles is a capturing of adventures and experiments upon many of the gospel’s right words. My prayer is that what I share will lead every reader to Him who is the Word (John 1:1).
A Is For Anchored
One Thanksgiving holiday I accompanied my mother on a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula. On what promised to be a most fascinating day of exploring, our ship dropped anchor in a makeshift harbor in the caldera of a volcano that had been a refuge for nineteenth century whalers. Whale bones and remnants of crude rendering equipment lined the scant shoreline.
As the day dawned, weather charts showed the shift of three hurricanes that had been brooding off Cape Horn at the tip of South America the day before. Heading suddenly south, these giant storms now blew only a few miles from us. They spewed rain that froze before it splattered against our windows and decks and spawned winds that whipped the ship and its rigging. The ship groaned and pitched fiercely as the rain and winds intensified under a glowering, black sky.
The crew sank more anchors, but the fierceness of the hurricanes required the crew to rev the engines and shift the ship several times an hour. Although we were well anchored, we drifted inexorably towards the rocks.
Amidst the plummeting of the ship, the staccato of the pelting ice, and the whine of the ferocious wind, I sat in a deserted lounge awed at the fury. Never before had I experienced such raw weather and forbidding circumstances.
I felt very afraid. I was quite literally at the ends of the earthy, days from help, a speck on a mammoth ocean in the path of devouring storms.
I prayed long from the core of my being to the Lord of all, knowing He was master of those hurricanes too. I prayed as one lost and alone.
At some point during that long vigil, my feelings centered on a new, welcome emotion. Even as the ship plunged and lurched, my deep fear ebbed away. Despite my anxiety and a mighty case of seasickness, I knew all would be well. I knew not how or when, but with certainty, I knew all was well, all was well.
Often in the subsequent days after the hurricanes had roared past, I sought quiet refuge in front of the same lounge window through which I’d studied some of the glories of our Heavenly Father’s creations during a mighty storm. I read the scriptural creation stories as the icebergs floated by. I pondered what it means to fear the Lord, and I silently prayed my thanks.
During my trip to Antarctica I learned much about the Apostle Paul’s admonition:
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
I learned that in the midst of even the fiercest storms, we may be tried, but we don’t have to be terrified. We will be challenged, but we don’t have to be vanquished.
On that Thanksgiving, I gave my thanksgiving for my physical safety and for the peace that “passeth all understanding.”