It was August 1979 and several young men were spending a few days holidaying together on a houseboat on the Miami River in Florida. But it was a day that they would never forget, because news came on their portable radio of a strong hurricane that was coming and it was deadly. So they started tying the houseboat to some trees along the river bank.
But a more experienced sailor came along and said, “That’s not going to help you. The wind will whip those trees out of their socket and you’ll be in trouble. Your only hope is to anchor deep. Put out your anchors in all directions, leave the rope slack and then pray.” Well, they did, as he suggested. Fortunately for them, Hurricane David took a different turn and missed them. An anchor is a great steel beam with two hooks. It’s let down from the ship on a heavy chain and takes hold on the seabed, and in ancient days, the anchors on the sea worked because of their sheer weight and friction as they lay at the bottom of the sea.
In more modern times, the anchor has a long cable attached to it that actually allows it to drill into the bottom of the ocean floor or to lodge into the coral reefs or the bed of rocks. So it still works on the same principle to keep that ship or boat steady on the seas. This story made me think anchoring a boat is a lot like anchoring our lives. Anchors are important as we face the many storms that come our way. These storms that come crashing can batter us financially, physically, mentally.
Do we have an anchor that’s set? Are we ready for the storms of life?
And what anchor points do I have when the winds of adversity come to me? So an anchor can be defined as a strong object that holds something in place, a reliable support. Anchors can bring safety to travellers on ships being rocked by storms, preventing us too, from drifting off our path or heading into dangerous, dark places.
The anchors help us feel grounded and safe, connected to something that’s larger than ourselves. I’m reminded of the old hymn we used to sing in church. Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, the writer of that hymn says. He’s got an anchor that holds firm in the storm, and I think he might have got his idea from a verse in the Bible that tells us that believers in Jesus have an anchor for a soul that’s firm and secure. That’s Hebrews 6:19. Faith is the belief we have in God and that confidence we can approach and talk to God any time. And when you’ve got faith, you know that God will be with you through all the storms of life. He lets us know that he is with us, especially in those difficult times. Our prayers are urgent. Our needs are great.
So often we meditate or think about our problems or worry about them. But we’re told over and over in the Bible, fear not. And that means we must replace our fear with faith. The Lord our God is with us. He’ll give us the courage to go on. He’s always there because he’s given freely to those in the past, and he’ll do it to us when we’re anchored to him. And the early Christians understood that the anchor represented the hope that they had in Christ.
It stood for the fact and the truth that all of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ. And that’s an anchor for your soul. If you’re a Christian, God anchors your soul in the truth of his word. So come what may you’ll always be anchored by the truth of his word, regardless of whatever you might experience, I read about the little boy who was flying a kite, and as the kite got so far up in the sky, you could hardly see it. But there was just this boy in a string, and someone came by and said, ‘What are you doing? I’m flying a kite. Well, do you see the kite?’ The man said no.
Well, I don’t either. So how do you know it’s there? And the little boy said, Well, Mr I can’t see the kite up there, but I know it’s there because I can feel it pull in the same way. A person who trusts Jesus doesn’t always have to see the full story of his life. They have an anchor that’s deep. That’s unseen faith in the Lord Jesus who says I am the way, the truth and the life.
Jesus is the anchor for every believer’s life. And though our faith might be small, his strength is enough to sustain us and carry us through to the end.
Heavenly Father, sometimes we worry that the anchor for our lives is not so strong. But Lord, in you we have a reliable, trustworthy and a very strong anchor. Shift our minds and thoughts towards you today I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.