FOUR ANCHORS

New Year’s Day, 2018

New beginnings. “With God, all things are possible.”- Christ Jesus (Matthew 19:26)

The Bible has a vivid account of the shipwreck experienced by Paul on his journey as a prisoner to Rome (Acts 27):

“Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea (the) ship was caught in a tempestuous wind-storm, called by translators, ‘Euroclydon.’ The ship was blown about like an eggshell for fourteen days in the teeth of this terrific storm, and then the passengers got to land on the island of Malta, on ‘broken pieces of the ship,’ with the entire cargo lost.

The thing that held St. Paul’s mind steady in the grip of the Adriatic Euroclydon was his four anchors of faith. In the midst of the crisis it was not the captain of the ship who was in command of the situation, nor the centurion of the cohort. It was the prisoner. He stood up on the deck, with the storm roaring through the broken rigging, and the frightened seamen, soldiers and passengers standing around him, worn and hungry, and instantly he, perhaps with chains on his hands, dominated the wild scene. … here on the deck, in the dark and in the storm, stood a man who was telling the group around him of the four anchors which held him firm and steady and unafraid, not only in the face of Euroclydons, but before the greater dangers of mobs and courts and headsmen. Here are his anchors:

I believe God;
His I am;
Him I serve;
He has given me those who sail with me.

Many a faith has been rebuilt after faith has gone to wreck in some Euroclydon.

The odd thing is that very often the solidest character, the greatest saintliness, comes after life has been broken. “I have come,” Christ said, “to save sinners”–broken vessels–persons whose lives have cracked under the strain.

We may well come back, then, at the end to the way St. Paul got to Rome and fulfilled his commission “to attest the gospel of the grace of God.” He, too, had broken health, broken time, a broken faith, a broken character, and a broken world around him, and he got to land on a broken piece of the ship that carried him.”

– excerpts from Rufus Jones, “When the Euroclydon is Blowing; Safe to Land on Broken Pieces of the Ship,” The Radiant Life, 1944.

 

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