I have close friends who are avid sailors. They love going out on the water, feeling the rush of the wind through the sails and the warmth of the sun on their faces. Sometimes they take friends with them. As close as we are, I inwardly pray they never ask us to be their guests.
I’m not the best swimmer and the thought of being out on the open sea terrifies me. Even though I will likely never be in that position I found myself thinking about the “what ifs”. What would I do if we found ourselves on a boat in the middle of the ocean? What if a storm came? What if we couldn’t find land? What if we kept drifting further out into deeper waters never to found again?
Then I started thinking about the anchor. Could it help me?
Every anchor I’ve seen is a huge, heavy, sturdy, unbreakable piece of iron attached to a long, long rope or chain. When my friends settle in for the night, I imagine they throw that heavy anchor overboard confidently knowing it will do what it’s supposed to do, which is keeping them in one general area instead of drifting out to sea while they are sleeping.
As my mind continued to wander, I began to think about the rope the anchor is tied to. What if the rope broke away from the anchor? What would happen then? As heavy as the anchor may be what good will it do if the rope is not strong and sturdy? If the rope breaks then the anchor, even though it’s made from a heavy piece of iron, would sink, and be entrenched in the bottom of the ocean and we would be left adrift.
The more I contemplated this I realized it is not only important to have a heavy anchor, but you need to be certain the anchor is attached to an equally strong piece of rope that can withstand the rough seas. Suddenly this became a lightbulb moment for me.
How much is the anchor and the rope just like us and our relationship with Jesus?
For me, during this grief journey I’ve said repeatedly that Jesus is my anchor. He’s the one thing that has kept me afloat during the stormy days of grief. Jesus promised to send us his Spirit to be our Helper and our Comforter (John 14:14 – 31). So, if Jesus is our anchor, then the Holy Spirit is our rope. We cannot have one without the other.
During times of overwhelming darkness when you are so tired from fighting the heaviness of grief, your anchor should strengthen you, but you should also be encouraged by the rope.
While I may never physically be out on the ocean waters, it’s become more clear to me that if I cling to my anchor, Jesus, then I will also be tethered to the Holy Spirit – the strongest rope we could ever dream of having and one that will never fray or break.