I’d like to welcome my husband, Kelly, as my guest blogger today. He was the lay speaker at our church yesterday and his message was so wonderful, I knew I had to share it with you. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have him as my husband. Enjoy his testimony and I will be sure to invite him to share again. shr
Image Source: http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. Faith is the reason we remember great people who lived in the past. I t is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by God‘s command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen. Hebrews 11:1-3 (NCV)
The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The Anchor holds, though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees as I faced the raging seas.
The Anchor holds in spite of the storm.
This is the chorus to my favorite song, a song written by Christian artist Ray Bolt.
I first heard the song at Judson Baptist Church. It was performed by Ken Hancock, who sang it at a Sunday night song service. It had a real effect on me and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I wondered what it was about the song that touched me so much and then I realized it was because it was so real — it was real life stuff. Life is not always easy. Life gets tough. It is not always smooth sailing.
It also became a very personal song to me. It didn’t just apply to real life it applied to MY LIFE. The only way I have ever overcome the struggles, trials, and storms in my life is by finally turning them over to God. No matter how hard I worked or schemed or struggled, my problems were only solved when by FAITH I trusted God to steer me through the rough waters.
“The Anchor Holds” is all about faith. It relates the importance of living by faith through tough times; a faith that comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; a relationship that is forged through laying a firm foundation that we can fall back on when the storms rage all around us.
We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. 2 Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NCV)
Tough times come eventually to all of us and unfortunately that’s the only time that some of come to faith or come back to our faith.
I consider myself lucky. I was lucky enough to grow up the son of Betty Rosser and as a child of God being cared for by the congregation of Culbreth Memorial United Methodist Church. (www.facebook.com/culbrethmemorialumc) My mother taught me the bible, FORCED Me to come to church, and loved me unconditionally, just as did everyone she ever knew. To the people of Culbreth Church (you know who you are) who taught me in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, corrected my behavior when needed (I am sure it was needed plenty!) and loved me as one of God’s family, I owe the deep roots of my faith to you.
When I was twelve or thirteen, I walked down the aisle during a revival and started my Journey of Faith. It certainly has not been without pitfalls, setbacks, and times when I wandered far away from the will of God. But God was still there waiting with the unconditional love of a parent for me to come home so he could calm the rough waters and steer me safely through the rapids. My ship has certainly been battered and the sails have been torn, but I am not any different from anyone else. Every person here has been through hardships and struggles. Thanks be to God for being there for us and not leaving us out there on our own.
Most of you know of my struggle with leukemia. The last two and a half years have certainly been full of raging seas. When I was in the hospital going through treatment I thought about this song a lot. I titled my CarePage (with the UNC Cancer Hospital CarePages website) “The Anchor Holds.” I would listen to this song or sing it in my head and think about my faith and the foundation of faith that had helped to mold me into who I was. In my life, I had witnessed some great examples of living in faith that I could turn to.
I thought of my Grandmother Smith, my mother’s mother, and her struggle with cancer. I remember visiting her as she lay in a bed she had been confined to for months and what I remember most is that she still praised God. I remember asking her if she got lonely lying there by herself and she told me that angels came and comforted her. She knew her time to go was near and she said that she could hear choirs of angels singing to her. She would sing along and tell me that she wished I could hear it because it was so beautiful.
I thought of my uncle, Joe Rosser, who died of leukemia. My Uncle Joe was a big strong man who threw big truck tires around like they were nothing (he owned a tire store) and laughed all the time. He was one of my favorite people. He was also a true testament of living by faith. When he was sick and I watched him grow weak and suffer, I saw that his faith never faltered. I never saw him act like he felt sorry for himself and his example taught me when I became sick not to ask “Why me?” but “Why not me?”
And then every day, I got to see Sandy, who has been my rock. She suffered through everything I did. She was with me every day. When I would begin to feel sorry for myself, I only had to look at her to see evidence of God’s love. When I would get frustrated or depressed she would pick up the bible and say “Let’s do our devotional” or “Let’s read some Psalms.”
Every person at Culbreth Church, many other family members, and people in the community have had an impact on my Journey of Faith and I want to thank you. Every person in this church could probably tell of others who have had an impact on them.
I feel sorry for those folks who laugh at us because of our faith and say God is for people who are weak-minded. I feel sorry for them because they do not know the peace that we have in times of trouble through our faith in the unfailing love of Jesus Christ. They have nothing to hold onto when times are rough, they cannot stand up to raging seas because they have no anchor to hold them firmly in place. It seems to be such a meaningless and joyless existence. I want to know that when times are tough and I fall on my knees, I will have Someone to call upon.
Sandy and I made the decision long ago that our children would grow up in church and that they would see our faith in Christ through the lives we lead. Now believe me, I am not breaking my arm patting myself on the back, because I have failed miserably on many occasions to be the man God expects me to be. But I keep trying and I hope that we can all strive every day to be better people, better Christians, and be more faithful in our walk with God.
Thank you for helping me in my Journey of Faith. The ship may be battered, the sails certainly feel torn, and even though the raging seas will come again, we have the assurance that Christ will be there with us in spite of any storm.
“The Anchor Holds” (Ray Boltz)