In Kansas they sing some songs that I didn’t grow up with in Indiana. One of these has the words by W. C. Martin, “And it holds, my anchor holds: Blow your wildest, then, O gale.”
I remember sitting in services, years ago, as we were singing this and almost shuddering, “No, don’t blow your wildest! I’m withstanding all I can right now.” I surely wasn’t wanting to brag how strong I was and invite westerlies!
I’m not really fond of wind. After the wind that came from Mexico and Texas last month, my son Logan had trouble breathing and wheezed for days.
I don’t like everything it stirs up…my eyes feeling irritated…my plants dried up and damaged on the porch.
I didn’t care for it a couple of years ago when it slammed the swing into our new white vinyl privacy fence, leaving an ugly gash.
I also don’t like the energy involved in emotional and spiritual storms. Standing my ground. The upheaval.
Last week, I saw that wind was in the forecast. I didn’t think much about it…I mean, this is Kansas.
Then on Wednesday, our pergola kit arrived. It really wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. I had thought and thought about it before deciding that it was what I wanted. I am a spender locked inside a cheapskate mind, so I had weighed it out. Yes, I went with a cheap one. (Which is so me!) I was overcome with excitement (and my audacity)!
My family are not construction minded, so I knew that even a kit would be a stretch for us. We started working on it Wednesday before church. Then Thursday, we had finished enough for it to stand independently.
My children were doing schoolwork Friday when a wind storm knocked the electricity out. All online schoolwork stopped in the absence of our jetpack. They have been working really hard on their school, preparing for back-to-back conventions, so this was a little concerning.
At the same time, I was feeling pressure to email corrections to my printer friend Robert in Missouri. I pulled my computer near an outside window and tried to get a direct hotspot with my phone plugged in.
That wind! It had really picked up, and it was hindering. I glanced at my computer battery. It was being drained (no way to plug it in and charge it), and I knew I was fighting time. Could I send the email before everything went dead?
Maybe Robert did not have to have the email that afternoon. I called him to find out. As I was explaining, a huge gust of wind came…and a terrible crash!
“It’s gone!” I heard my husband say. “It’s destroyed!”
I numbly looked out the window. There was the pergola in pieces, dashed against the fence and tree. The wind had literally jerked the pergola into the air and thrown it.
Logan, who had been in the middle of putting the pergola together, was standing for the longest time, staring in disbelief.
How many times have I felt like that? Plans ruined. Dreams crushed. Loved ones blown to pieces.
Todd said, “I think it’s fixable.” He had such confidence.
Saturday, when I got home, it was being fixed and put back up. Some in the family had felt like it was ready for the garbage heap, but sometimes my husband is right. He glued, braced, and put extra pieces of board up. He reinforced the splintered parts. We combed the area for missing screws that had been sent flying. It really was more work than it would have been if it hadn’t been smashed.
But it was fixable. Usable.
It will always have scars, but I’m hoping that it is stronger than it would have been even originally. We put the top on, giving it more structure. But the most important thing is that we have it anchored now. See, the last step in the instructions was anchoring the pergola, and we had not gotten to the last step.
Todd fully believes that if it had been anchored, it would have withstood the wind storm. He said, “I’ve seen people come and go from the house of the Lord. Those who leave are usually missing their anchor.” This anchor will give them moorings—to hold them steady in the storm.
My children got a front-row seat to the damage. I want this impressed on their minds. I want them to have an anchor that will hold when their parents are not around.
I’ve gotten beyond my fear of the wind in the song, “The Anchor Holds.” One day, I clued in to the next words after “Blow your wildest, then, O gale.” It says:
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds,
My anchor holds.
That’s it! It’s not my strength. I’m as good of quality as a flimsy made-in-China pergola. It’s my anchor! It is “by His grace” that I won’t fail. That’s my anchor.
Like Todd said, “I’ve not let go of the anchor, and the anchor has not let go of me.”
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Hebrews 6:19