I’ve always struggled with fear. In fact, every big change in my life, even those that have been the greatest blessing, has been accompanied by fear. I was afraid to start University, and afraid to launch into my teaching career. I felt fear sitting beside me as I contemplated buying my first house and I still feel it niggling in the pit of my stomach every time I travel.
I know I’m not alone. Fear is part of the human condition, but let’s not believe that it’s unconquerable.
Carrie Fisher is quoted to have said “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action.”
Inspiring as I find this quote, the Bible does one better. It tells us that we do not need to be afraid.
The other night I was reading Psalm 27. This is the first section of Scripture that I ever memorised as a child, but this time it spoke to me in a new way.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
There are three clear reasons in this text that remind us why we don’t need to fear. First, the Lord is our light; he shows us the way. Second, the Lord is our stronghold; he anchors us with purpose and security. Finally, He is our salvation; the end-game is won and our eternity is sealed.
I love the metaphor of Jesus as an anchor. Sometimes I can almost physically feel it. On days when it seems as though the world is falling down around me, I remember Him as my anchor and I feel a certain strength through my core; a grounding in my feet.
One of the lines of the song says ‘My anchor holds within the veil.’ Had it not been explained to me, I don’t think I would have grasped the significance of the lyric.
In Jewish history, before the time of Christ, a veil separated the Holy of Holies (the dwelling place of God) from the rest of the temple. Only the high priest was allowed to go there to sprinkle the blood of atonement on behalf of the people.
Significantly, at the very time that Jesus died on the cross, that veil was supernaturally torn in two. No longer was it a priest who had to represent the people, but Jesus, our Great High Priest, made a way for each of us to ‘boldly come before the Throne of Grace.’
Jesus is our anchor, holding fast our access beyond the veil. He gives us a constant, grounded connection to that most holy place. He is an anchor that cannot be moved. He is our security that we, when faced with a Holy God, will stand.