This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven. Hebrews 6:19 (TLB)
Throughout my childhood, my family spent a good part of the summer vacationing on a spring-fed lake, nestled in the wooded hills of northern Michigan. Each day was filled with endless opportunities. Our time was consumed with hikes in the woods, fires in the fireplace, card games, hours in the water and much more.
One of my favorite activities as a teenage girl was sunbathing. Often I would do this with a girlfriend, a sister or a cousin – on towels on the dock. Sometimes we would swim to a raft and lay out until we were dry. Then we had to brave jumping into the cold water to return to shore. One day in particular, I remember, the sunlight shimmered on the lake like sparkling diamonds. My girlfriend and I decided to take her little sunfish sailboat out. We weren’t great sailors, but we wanted to take the boat out to just drift aimlessly while we basked in the sun. The wind was calm, but unlike the anchored raft, we drifted far out of sight from our familiar shoreline. This caused a bit of a panic when we realized what happened. Since our sailing skills were limited, it took us quite a while to return home. We realized that we might need an anchor the next time!
Every day, I am vulnerable to drifting. Whether it is the waves of distractions ebbing me away from tasks and relationships, the wandering thoughts sidetracking my prayer time or the worry waves consuming my mind and causing panic and anxiety. During these times, I am much like that boat, drifting in the middle of the lake and in need of an anchor. An anchor is not meant to be a burden to weigh me down, but secure me and keep me centered to my purpose.
The early Christians referred to Jesus as their anchor. He was the source of their hope and strength in times of persecution and challenge. As an anchor, Jesus does not weigh me down, but connects me to His power and direction. His anchor has a line providing some freedom of movement, but always keeping me tethered to Him, even in the midst of stormy seas. As my relationship grows with Christ, I become more aware of His presence and keenly sense His gentle pull when I begin to drift with the waves of distractions.
How do I keep this connection? How do I strengthen my awareness of Christ presence in the midst of the many distractions? My daily devotions are a time that center and anchor me each day. But sometimes, I am in need of more. I just read the book “Addicted to Busy” by Brady Boyd. Pastor Boyd focuses on the importance of carving out a Sabbath. He explains that it is important to schedule a regular time where we do NOT focus on tasks and productivity but intentionally take time to rest and connect to the Lord. At first, it may feel like you are drifting from one activity to another, but just like daily devotions, by carving time out for a Sabbath, you are purposefully choosing to strengthen your relationship with Jesus, increasing your awareness of His will and His presence. This is not an easy thing to do, as it requires carving out time in a busy schedule for this focus. Pastor Brady shares ideas of how his entire family prioritizes scheduling their Sabbath together.
Hebrews 6:19 reminds us that our hope of being saved is the strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls which connects us with God himself, behind the sacred curtains of heaven. How do you connect to the hope and strength of God? He can be your anchor when you are drifting in the waves of distractions or tossing in the turbulence of the stormy seas.
Dear Lord, I confess that I tend to try to do things by my own strength, I leave things undone, I focus on the unimportant and I respond to the voices of urgent. Help me to place my hope and strength in you, so instead of drifting to the aimless wind, I am aware of Your presence and anchored to Your purpose and Your course. Amen.