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Hope is an anchor of the soul

By Myrtle Virginia Thompson

Easter Monday, April 13, 2020. The sky is dark, almost foreboding, overcast, strong winds battling the life of every tree and flower. Storm warnings, a portent of something to come, but I also imagine a picture of what we are facing with COVID-19. I stop what I am doing and pray. We have just celebrated Easter. Christians have sent out a resounding message, “He is risen!” All who believe the message are promised hope because of Jesus. He conquered death, something no one else ever could do or has done. Now we face another week during which we are told the battle to conquer COVID-19 may be more intense. Where do we go for hope to win this battle?

My prayer is interrupted by a telephone call. I am told some areas of our country have been hit with swift moving tornadoes bringing on destruction and untimely deaths, a strong reminder we do not own property or life or limb while we are on Earth. These people need more than prayer. They need help as they try to rebuild their lives. What can I do for those in need?

Psalm 24 says the earth is the Lord’s; He made it and created the people who dwell in it for His glory.

By 3 p.m., the storm is over and the sun is out, but the wind is still blowing hard. Limbs, twigs and leaves have been severed from the tree, anything not anchored blown over.

Almost everyone had plans for 2020 spring and summer — a cruise, a special vacation, a wedding, retirement or a career change. Plans are affected or had to be scrapped. Some will never be realized. We thought life’s game was like a basketball tournament. We knew the strategy needed for victory — a quick shot from the nearest player getting the ball, tossing it through the hoop for that final play, and the game is over.

God alone knows when this game will end. King David prays, “My times are in Thy hand. Deliver me…” Psalm 31:15.

Springtime is always governed by the vernal equinox, a time of year celebrated by Christians as a religious holiday; by the Jewish community, observed for millennia as Passover; by the Persians as their New Year; and by Muslims who will begin a lunar month of fasting. Generations to come will know 2020 as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We could not avoid the changes that are taking place. They were made for us.

Hebrews 6:19 says we have hope as an anchor of the soul, but there is more. Hope is that spiritual anchor that quiets and encourages me. Verse 18 reminds me that hope is a consolation, invisible but real when my faith is secured in Christ.

Because we are in a worldwide battle, I am looking forward to a worldwide renewal of desire to know God. That invisible organism has done its harm but it has also brought on something good. It has cut down the trees of our spiritual forest and given us sight beyond this life, a realization there is an almighty God Who rules the world He created. He has put out this message through prophets and teachers for 2,000 years. Now He has shut in the whole world, and it is up to us to listen. He is alive! Let’s pray we will read what He has to say in our Bibles and hear His words of comfort and love as we move through this never before so dark an hour in our time.

Myrtle V. Thompson, 92, is a Bible teacher, educator and retired missionary. Contact her at mvtgrt@gmail.com.