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Anchors For The Soul – Introduction

ANCHORS FOR THE SOUL: 10 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES FOR DIFFICULT TIMES is Water from Rock’s 2024 spring handbook that begins here today with the Introduction.  You can read one of the 10 practices each Monday for the next 10 weeks.  We pray that these time-tested Biblical spiritual practices help you to anchor your life deep in the love and care of God.

What helps you get through difficult times? Have you found that which helps you to not only survive them, but thrive spiritually through them? Novelist Ernest Hemingway noted, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” But how about you? Are you growing strong at the broken places? Have you found your default setting for becoming better, not bitter, when the going gets tough?

Perhaps you are riding out financial hardship, trying to cope with a doctor’s disturbing news, watching your child bounce from one crazy thing to another, grieving the disastrous course of our nation, or a combination of troublesome events. How do you deal with it all? How do you not just bear it, but turn it to hope and glory? Pressured by the tyranny of the urgent and the froth and foam of an anti-Christian culture, what practices might help you anchor your life in this Jesus-denying world?

For direction and focus we turn to the psalmist David – a tested, tempted, and hard pressed military leader, statesman, poet, musician, sinner, over whom the Bible wrote the words, “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). But the constant in David’s storied life was the determination to center his life on God, to keep the one thing in life the one thing:

“One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

Notice this “one thing” in David’s life, his one priority ahead of anything else: to anchor his life in God. It is the one thing David “asked” of the Lord and would “seek after”, whether in the wilderness, palace, or valleys of death’s shadow. David experienced that by anchoring his life in God he had God’s protection and provision in his darkest times, as explained in his next verse: “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble” (Psalm 27:5).

In the light of David’s focus, the following pages present 10 spiritual practices that can anchor your soul in difficult times. They will sink your roots deeper into God as the storms of life blow. These spiritual practices, ever ancient and ever new, will help you center your life on God. Like the psalmist David, you will experience God as “strength… rock…fortress…deliverer…refuge…shield…salvation…stronghold” (Psalm 18:1-2).

The ten spiritual practices are not presented in order of importance, but for you to first read them through and then decide to start with one or two that you sense will be most helpful to you now. In time, you might want to take on all of them. Why not ask your spouse or a friend to join you?

May you grow strong at your broken places,
anchoring your soul in God!

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