The Lulu and the Anchor

I loved to rummage and browse about my Grandfather’s boat store. There were big boats on display called cruisers that could fit many people and it even had a little cabin underneath where you could take a nap, but why would you want to take a nap on a boat? There was a railing around the front hood of the boat where my Dad, bare chested and tan, would sit as we cruised up and down the Allegheny River on the ‘Lulu’, as we called her. It wasn’t until just now that I realized that she must have been named after my Grandma, Louise. The Lulu was a beautiful cruiser, and painted my favorite color, red. My Dad would direct Grandpa if we got into some shallow water when we would go under the bridge to Red Bank Creek. He would tell Grandpa to go left or right to avoid hitting the big rocks. Grandpa would always be the driver of the Lulu, and my Mom, Grandma and I would sit in the sun in the back. There were benches with cushions that we would sit on; and the top of the benches would open up and that’s where we kept rain jackets, the awnings for the boat, life jackets, sweatshirts, and towels.

Sometimes when we got to a quiet place in the river away from a lot of boat traffic, my Dad would go to the back of the boat and get this really heavy piece of metal that I couldn’t even lift, and he would throw it into the river. Tied to the big heavy thing was a rope that was tied to the boat. My Dad said that the heavy thing was called an anchor. He threw it in the river so that the boat would stay right around that same spot and not drift away in the current of the river. Then we would put the ladder over the side of the boat and we would go swimming, but we always had to have life jackets on so that we would stay safe. Grandma wouldn’t go swimming very often because she said that she couldn’t swim. But, she would pack a lunch for us and we would all dive off the boat, swim around, and then when we were tired of swimming we’d climb back in the boat and have lunch or snacks and a cold drink. When we would have our fill of swimming, eating snacks and were ready to take off again, my Dad would pull on the big rope, and keep pulling on it until the anchor was back out of the water and then store it away inside the boat.

I remember one Sunday afternoon we were on the boat and had finished swimming and were on our way up the river a little further when it started to rain. Not only did it start to rain, but we were going in the opposite direction from where the camp was. As we traveled, we were able to see sort of a ‘wall of rain’ up ahead. Not only were we going toward it, but the wall of rain was also moving toward us. Dad climbed off of the front of the boat, Grandpa told us to go into the cabin of the boat, and they were scurrying around to put up the awnings with clear plastic windows that clip onto the boat to try to keep the rain from coming in. My Dad even took the anchor and threw it in the river to keep the boat from drifting with the river current toward the dam as the storm was coming. We all were in the cabin of the boat and watching the lightning and hearing the thunder as the boat was pitching left and right, and the waves of the river were hitting on the side of the boat. Our life-jackets were on. We could hear it, and feel it as the boat was being tossed in the wind. Grandpa and Dad said that everything was going to be ok, but we just had to wait a little while until the storm and darkness passed. We just sat still because if you stood up, you might fall because the boat was rocking left and right. I was afraid that nobody was driving the boat, but they told me that the boat was going to stay right where it was because Dad had thrown the anchor over the side of the boat and it was holding us right in the same place, even though the boat was tossing and turning with the wind and the waves.

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Sure enough, just as Dad and Mom and Grandpa and Grandma said, the darkness of the storm and the rain and the winds passed by after a little while. The sun came back out, and we were able to come up out of the cabin on the boat and unsnap and fold up the awnings with the clear plastic windows, and put them away under the benches in the back of the boat. That big old heavy metal anchor sure did the trick by keeping us safe in the boat when the wind and the darkness and the rain and winds came by.

We have an anchor in our lives that we can hold onto during the storms of our lives. That anchor is God, and He is stronger than any wind or rain or storms that come our way. There are times in all of our lives where the winds of trouble blow through. They may be as consequences of choices we made, they can be winds that smack us with unemployment, financial difficulties, chronic illness, death of a loved one, divorce, or other broken relationships of people that we care about. There are times that fear overwhelms us, worry consumes us. We can be carried away on the waves of addictions, confused by the state of affairs talked about in the news, or blown away by some unexpected circumstance that we didn’t see coming.

It’s then that we reach out for the rope that is attached to the heavy anchor to keep us grounded in place, safe under the loving everlasting arms of the One who created us as the winds blow and the confusion churns around us. The boat may be battered, the sails and awnings with the clear plastic windows may be torn, the rope may fray, but the anchor holds us steady in just the place where God meets us until the storm passes.

I’m reminded of a song by Ray Boltz called The Anchor Holds. Here are the lyrics,

The Anchor Holds

Ray Boltz

I have journeyed through the long dark night
Out on the open sea, by faith alone
Sight unknown; and yet His eyes were watching me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
The anchor holds in spite of the storm

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams
I’ve even held them in my hand
But I never knew they would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
The anchor holds in spite of the storm

I have been young but I’m older now
And there has been beauty these eyes have seen
But it was in the night, through the storms of my life
Oh, that’s where God proved His love for me

The anchor holds
Though the ship’s been battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
The anchor holds in spite of the storm

I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
The anchor holds in spite of the storm

Dear God, we thank you for being our safe place, our life jacket and anchor in the storms of life. Please remind us all that storms pass, that the sun will shine again, but it is only you who will keep us anchored during our storms.

How has God been an anchor for you during the storm of this pandemic?

Blessings,

Candy

Published by Candy Morgans

Being recently retired from the Healthcare Industry, and the spouse of a retired Methodist Minister, I find some time on my hands, and a strong desire to share experiences and develop relationships with others. God is my driving force, and I have humor and joy in my heart.

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