Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them,
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
Luke 24: 1-9 (ESV)
Some months before the Chicago Fire of 1871, a wealthy Chicago businessman and attorney by the name of Horatio G. Spafford had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. All of his holdings were completely wiped out by that fire.
Looking for some rest for his bride and four daughters, and also wanting to join his famous friend, Dwight L. Moody, for an evangelistic campaign in England, he planned a trip for them all to take to England.
Due to some last minute business developments, he had to remain in Chicago for a bit longer, but he sent his wife and daughters on ahead of him. The ship they were on was struck by another vessel while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, sank and all of his four daughters were drowned. His wife somehow survived, and was rescued.
When she finally landed in Cardiff, Wales, she telegrammed her husband, “Saved Alone.” He immediately booked passage on another ocean liner to join her.
On his way to be with her, the captain of his ship came to Spafford to tell him that they were near the spot where his daughters were lost at sea. Even though he was no doubt experiencing the worst storm he had ever faced, and even though he knew that his four daughters were now with their Heavenly Father, he probably had more reasons at that moment than most of us will ever have in a lifetime to throw God out of the boat, to take over control of the rudder himself, to turn from God and to reject the peace, power, presence and love of God in his life.
But he didn’t. He knew his daughters weren’t there, but instead, he knew they were with the Risen Christ. And that’s where he had dropped anchor for himself and their lives—in the empty tomb, and in the Risen Christ which we celebrate at Easter.
Embracing that truth, HG Spafford wrote this song for the ages:
“When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
“Even so it is well with my soul.” It is well, with my soul;
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
In the midst of that moment at sea, and throughout his life, Horatio Spafford dropped anchor into the middle of God’s overwhelmingly, never-ending hope and promises of eternal life.
He dropped anchor into all the promises of Easter which we will celebrate again this Sunday. He dropped anchor in an empty tomb and a Risen Christ.
His anchor was not tied to the circumstances, or the ups and downs of life—but to the solid Rock of the Risen Christ, his Lord and his Savior.
Where is our life, and our hope anchored?
How about we anchor in Him? The Risen Christ that was here before anything was, and will be here with us into eternity.
A good place, the only place, to drop anchor—for the rest of your life!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.