Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.
It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.
It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death—-
When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the Veil.
When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.
This hymn reminds us not to put our hope and trust in man, but rather on the Rock, our Lord Jesus Christ. Written by Priscilla Owens in 1882, the background of this hymn really sparked my interest and let me tell you why. Ms. Owens was a teacher for over 50 years in the Baltimore school system. She taught Sunday school at the Methodist church she attended. And according to my research, she never married and died at the age of 78. Here’s the hymn based on words from the New Testament (Hebrews 6:19); ‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast’.
‘We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll. Fastened to the rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life? When the clouds unfold their wings of strife, when the strong tides lift and cables strain, will your anchor drift or firm remain’?
Couple of comments on the lyrics to this beautifully poetic song:
- Strong tides lift and the cables strain – I can imagine a huge ocean liner. The ones with the metal cables connected to a monstrous steel anchor. I picture this ship in the midst of a terrible storm. The anchor has been cast. The winds are ferocious. The storm is raging. The cable is being stretched and strained almost beyond it’s breaking point. Have you been there in your personal life? Maybe you are at that point today. The chorus reminds us that we do have an anchor. That anchor is steadfast and He is sure. Hebrews 6:18-20 tells us “so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Aren’t you grateful for a sure anchor and steadfast cables? Are you grateful for a High priest who knows our weaknesses? I know I sure am.
- Will? It will – I find it interesting that Ms. Owens asks two “Will?” questions in the first verse of this song, and then she follows those questions up with several bold declarations of “It will,” “We have,” and “It is” statements. In those times of questioning, we can return to the promises of God that are “Yea and amen.” To go to the Word and remind ourselves what the Lord has done and what He has promised to do. We don’t have to speak with uncertainty in our voices. We can, by faith, declare that our anchor will hold. That it will surely hold. That we have an anchor that keeps the soul. What a powerful difference between a questioning “will?” and a declarative “will.” That is the kind of faith I long to have in my daily life as I encounter the storms that inevitably come.