Brick is not a common building material where we live now, so when we were in Belgium in the fall, I was intrigued by these metal anchor plates on exterior walls.
So, being intrigued, I had to do some digging! Why on earth are they there? They aren’t especially lovely to look at, so it couldn’t be for simple decorative use. There must be some useful reason behind them.
Here’s what I discovered. These metal anchor plates are attached to tie rods, which run into the building and provide support for the wall from the inside. This support from within keeps the wall from bowing out and collapsing due to the weight resting on it. While the tie rod pulls inward, the anchor plate distributes the force over a greater area so that one spot is not over-stressed. The anchor plate historically was fashioned from cast iron, but in more recent times has been crafted from steel. Metal has different strengths than brick, and the two materials together do what one alone could not.
Many times anchor plates are functional and decorative, although not always. Hopefully they are always functional at least!
Our Tie Rods
As followers of Christ, we have an incredible support coming from inside of us, holding us together and keeping us from falling apart under the pressures of this life. What is this support composed of?
- The Holy Spirit living in us
“Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:14 NLT).
- Joy and peace, leading to overflowing hope as we trust in God
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
- Strength based in joy, regardless of our circumstances
“The joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 — read the whole book of Nehemiah, as it has to do with building a wall!)
Our Anchor Plates
As we are strengthened from the inside, there will be outward evidence for anyone who’s looking to easily observe.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
- As we trust in God to care for us, we are freed to show love to one another.
- His joy becomes evident to others, and our emotional/mental stability (peace) becomes more secure.
- Since we’re no longer trying to carry the weight of the world, we’re able to be more patient with others who take up time in ways we didn’t expect. We are able to be more flexible with how events unfold throughout our day.
- No longer looking out for ourselves, we can more readily see the needs of others, and are more disposed to act on their behalf (kindness and goodness).
- We are firm in our word, and live in integrity so that others can rely on us (faithfulness).
- Because we know the power of our God and are submitted to him, we are able to be gentle with others. We lose more and more of the need to fight for and defend ourselves, choosing instead to trust God with the outcome.
- Finally, a true grasp of self-control only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit living within us, but is quite obvious to those around us!
On the flip side, if our strength lies in us alone, our anchor plates will take on a completely different look! I daresay they may not be so lovely to look at, nor as dependable . . .
What’s the state of your anchor plates, my friend? Are you growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?” (2 Peter 3:18) If so, trust that He is renovating your life and making all things new. He alone is able, if we will let him have his way in our hearts and lives!