God is our refuge and strength, a well-proven help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she will not be moved; God will help her in the early dawn. The nations roared; the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice; the earth melted.
The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Psalm 46:1-7 (MEV)
Have you ever turned your key in the ignition of your car and heard nothing? No whining, crank of the engine trying to turn over—just the impotent “click” as the gauges spring to life, but the engine makes no sound.
That “click” is deafening. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t try the key again and again hoping for the magic spark that starts the engine. I’ve heard the “click” may times in my life—I’ve owned many old cars.
Yesterday was the first time the “click” scared me.
Terry and I are novice boat owners—me more than Terry. Yesterday was a lovely, lazy day on the Mississippi River. We did what we’ve always done. We zoomed the boat upstream stopped the engine and drifted down the river carried be the current and the wind. It’s great for relaxing—Terry fishes and I watch the birds, look at the trees, soak up some sun and jabber. We have lunch, wave at fellow boaters as they pass by and spend the day in peace and quiet.
Usually the last run of the day is closer to the marina, which is also by the dam. Wildlife and lily pads call this part of river home. Because of the dam, the current changes and along with those changes sand bars form, making muddy, shallow areas.
As the boat rocked against a sand bar, Terry and I began problem solving. I was a bit nervous—I’m out of my element in the water but I was pretty sure I could push the boat off the sand bar using an oar and into the current where we’d find water deep enough to fire up the engine.
Success! We were floating, albeit toward the dam. No worries, right?
Terry looked at me. My response, “I got nothin’, man.” I’ve never been in this situation. I know little about boating. I did know we were closer to the dam than we were a few minutes ago.
Terry threw the anchor. The soft, silty bottom provided little for the anchor to grab—finally we slowed. We drifted a little but we had some time. As our movement slowed, Terry said, “And, that’s why we have an anchor.”
Terry called the insurance company for shore-side assistance. I watched impatience and frustration rise as Terry navigated the Press 2 if this is related to a previously reported claim… Press 3 for updated policy information… Press 4 to speak to a representative I heard a bit of panic in his voice as Terry tried to explain to the representative our location and the precariousness of our position.
Soon, a rescue boat from a local boat shop sped across the river to tow us back to the marina.
Overall, we didn’t wait that long and we weren’t that close to the dam. We were also powerless—literally—dead in the water. All Terry and I could do was wait for a rescue. Since, before yesterday, it didn’t matter if I could tie a good knot, I watched the anchor line so I could grab it if it came untied from the boat. I watched the shoreline as well so I would know exactly when to panic. There wasn’t anything else to do—except recall the words to every hymn and gospel song I know referring to an anchor. Oh yes, and recall my thoughts when the previous owner showed us where the anchor was stored; we’ll never need that.
God is Our Anchor
I thought about Psalm 46 as well. I’ve weathered many storms. I’m glad God was a strong refuge in times of trouble but most days aren’t stormy. Most days are sunny, normal, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum, let’s replay yesterday and the day before, there’s change in my pocket, I’m fine, the family’s fine, and the job’s fine sort of days.
Most days are regular days. Most days you don’t need an anchor.
Then you hear the “click.”
That’s when you’re glad there is an anchor on board. Isn’t it wonderful to know, as the King James Version puts it— God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Those regular days that pass without notice tend to lull even the most vigilant into complacency. If you’re having a regular day—I’m so happy for you! Enjoy it—but remember where your anchor is stored. It only takes a “click” to change the day. Fortunately, God is always close, always able, always strong, and always “with us.”
Know where to find Him when you need Him.
Father, thank You for being near even when I don’t think I’ll need You. Remind me how tenuous my hold on control is. Thank You for providing a refuge and a “very present help in time of trouble.” Teach me to rely on You during the sunny days. Help me run to You when I hear the “click.”