Look for Tailored Encouragement
It was a lovely Saturday morning, and my husband agreed emphatically that my mom and I should visit the farmer’s market where our friend’s BBQ trailer was set up.
When Texans have had pork in the smoker all night, you get out your wallet.
So after I executed a magnificent parallel parking job in the congested farmer’s market entry, mom and I got out and meandered our way toward the food trucks, but first we had to pass the craft booths.
Before I tell you what God did there, you need to know that my mom’s visit landed between mother’s day and her birthday coming up, so I wanted to take her shopping for a combo gift while she was here. I had been struggling with the gift idea, though. Since dad went to be with the Lord only a few months ago, buying stuff seems trivial. I wondered what I could possibly buy that would have any meaning for my grieving mom.
The first craft booth we came to had this large, cheerful lemonade sign. I said, Oooooh, cute, and we stopped to look at it. Maybe this would be a fun birthday present, mom?
That is when our eyes moved slightly to the left and landed on a smaller sign that made me catch my breath and made mom’s eyes teary.
This speaks to me, my mom said.
It became church for a minute on the parking lot, with the Spirit of God coming up underneath my momma’s soul –her being encouraged and me swooning at the love of the One who tailors encouragement to fit the desperate needs of his own children.
It has an anchor, I said, Just like that man of mine is going to preach about from Hebrews in a few weeks.
I like blue, my momma said. It doesn’t really go with the colors in my house, but I like it.
Soon I was paying for that sign.
We brought it home and set it on the chair in the guest room. We kept talking about those words and how much they mean to us right now.
Then, only two days later, I came home from teaching school, and my momma opened up her Beth Moore Bible study that she had been plugging away at every afternoon while I was at work.
Do you know what the study was today? she asked me. It was about Paul in the ship, caught in the middle of a perilous storm, and how we sometimes find ourselves in a storm and might need to throw some cargo overboard but not pull up anchor. Never pull up anchor.
Just like that sign you bought me, she said. Keep the faith. Trust in Jesus. Refuse to sink.
And then… (Did you think that was all God had planned?)
And then a few days later we were in a store together, and we stopped to look at journals. (This is what a librarian and a librarian’s daughter do. We stop for paper.)
And flipping through the pretty covers, there was this blue journal covered in anchors.
Don’t you take sermon notes, momma? I asked.
Yes I do, she said.
Don’t you need this journal for your sermon notes? So every time you go to church you remember your Anchor?
Yes, I do, she said. And she bought it.
One time I heard John Piper speak about anchors. He said the thing about anchors is that they have to sink down deep into the bottom of the ocean, but they also have to be held onto on board ship.
Do you see? My momma’s sad heart determined to open up her Bible every day, plugging away at a Bible study. Faith keeps going even through the pain. Keeps believing. Keeps looking to God for answers and hope and strength. Holds onto the rope that is attached to the anchor.
And meanwhile God is at work –planning encouragement. Nice ‘n solid. And don’t you know he won’t let his precious children sink? Don’t you know he lets the storm rage, but we’re not going anywhere?
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…” (Hebrews 6:19 NASB)
And if he cares about my quiet little momma from Wyoming, I know he cares about you. He’s got you.
He won’t let you sink, so just hang on.
I live a crazy life so please do not judge me….but I have to share this. Once, when I and my family were on a yacht around the Greek islands I heard This from a fellow sailor over dinner: The wife of the Captain was new to sailing. She was, thankfully sailing with Sun Sail, the company I and my family were sailing with that summer. the woman was even newer to sailing than I was, but I just felt (amongst the laughter) for her as on the third morning of their family sailing she called the Sun Sail office and asked for a new anchor. “Why do you need a new anchor?” asked the young man on his summer job. He added, “you do have a spare in the compartment on board.”
“Well,” said the lady, ” each of the two mornings we have been sailing I have woken up and as we were trying to set sail, I undid the rope and there we go…..the anchor was of course left behind.”
The young man nearly chocked but he graciously said, “of course. I will will be right there.”
I nearly cried with laughter when I heard this, but honestly; as Christians, do we not untie our anchor from our little boats and sail on? We need to remember that the anchor gets pulled up out of the sea and always travels with us. Our God, in the Name of Jesus, always travels with us. We should never, ever need a new anchor. love your blog, [email protected]
Oh my word. That is hilarious!!! (Sounds like something I would do.) Great follow-up point to my post, though. Thanks for the laugh!
Thank you, Christy, for yet another encouragement this evening! I’m a few posts behind but I’m getting caught up. Had the chance to forward your last two to my 3 sisters. You are an encouragement…I needed to read this tonight. So thankful that God is my Anchor. xoxxo
Thanks for these kind words, Alisha!
i just want to thank for sharing your story. I so needed to hear it
You can thank my mother for letting me go public with how God encouraged her! 🙂
Ahh…don’t you love the goodness of God…I was reminded of Isaiah 45:3..that God has hidden treasures..riches stored in secret places so that we may know He is Lord..the God of Israel who calls us by name.
Ooh, I have to go look up that verse. Thank you!
Oh those words are sweet honey to my soul today! Amazing.
That is the goodness of God. So glad you were encouraged!
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