Sailing the Seven C's - Cling to the Anchor

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 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.
— Acts 27:27-29

We talked about the anchor a while back in our study on the names of God in the book of Psalms. To refresh your memory (and for those of you who are new to these devotions), let’s look at two of my favorite definitions of the word “anchor.”

 1) A person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; a mainstay

 2) Military - A key position in defense lines.

God is our anchor. He can be relied on for support, stability, and security. He is our mainstay. And, yes, He is the key position in our lines of defense. So, why do we run to everything and everyone else before we run to Him? When we get the negative report from the doctor, the first thing we do is call a spouse, a family member, or a friend. Sure, they should know, but should they be the first ones to whom we pour out our heart? When we lose a job, we can’t wait to complain to the next person who crosses our path. Friend or foe—it doesn’t matter! Or, with some of us (not mentioning any names here), our storms usher us straight to the refrigerator for something tasty (and fattening) to soothe our aching hearts and feelings of despair. It’s like we know God is the key position in our line of defense, but we certainly don’t act like we know.

When the ship drew near enough to land that the sailors feared they would crash into the rocks in the shallow water, they decided to cast their anchors. After all, the anchors weren’t doing any good sitting on the ship, right? For the anchors to be useful, the sailors had to implement them. We need to understand the same about God. Yes, He can do for Himself. He doesn’t need us nor does He need our permission to step in and save the day. But here’s the thing about God—He’s not pushy. He doesn’t force us to do anything, including turning to Him during our storms. He longs for us to seek Him out. He pleads with us to go to Him. He urges us to make use of the power to which we have access through Him. But He will not force His way into our lives or our storms. We have to decide. He’s there, eager and waiting, but we have to determine that He is the One in whom we will trust for support, stability, and security.

Now, you may think my verb choice in the title of this devotion is odd or maybe even wrong. Shouldn’t it be “Cast the Anchor”? With the sailors on the storm-tossed seas, yes. When viewing God as our anchor, the verb “cling” is much more appropriate.

 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
— Hebrews 6:17-19

I don’t want you to miss this important point because it makes all the difference in the world. Notice the phrase in Hebrews: “to lay hold upon the hope.” Lay hold of—as in, cling to. Then follow the verse out to the next part, “which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” Lay hold of the hope because the hope is our anchor. When all else fails, hold on to hope. When you can’t see a way out, cling to God. When you feel your ship is about to be ripped apart, hold fast to your anchor. God will keep you from being blown about and from drifting off course. Just hold on to Him.

But here’s where it gets better still. Even when we can’t hold on to Him, He holds on to us. When we don’t have the strength to hold it together, He does. When we’re too exhausted, and we’re losing our grip, we can trust that He will never, ever let go. His grip is sure and steadfast. So even when we can’t hold on, we can still be held. Hallelujah! Is anyone else getting glory bumps?

I once heard a story of sailors whose boat was being tossed about by contrary winds and waves. Just as in the story in Acts, the ship drifted toward the rocky bottom near the shoreline. The captain gave orders to cast the anchor, but a crewman dared to speak up and replied, “Captain, we’ve already entered the area of rocks. If we cast the anchor here, we’ll never be able to retrieve it because it won’t let go of the rocks, and the rocks won’t let go of the anchor.” I can think of no better picture of our relationship with God. We’ll cling to Him as best we can, and He won’t let us go. Oh, dear ones, are you trusting in your Anchor today?