Take the Slack Out of Your Anchor Line

Overhead view of an anchor chain coming out from a ship and into the water

The shoreline around the bay was littered with all types and sizes of boats, the result of two severe storms that had recently hit the region back to back. As Marco and his friend Lee surveyed the damage, they spotted a sailboat that had slammed up against a large tree not far from them. Marco asked Lee why so many had drifted away from their mooring. Lee was a retired pilot of several luxurious yachts and a former owner of a large marina. He was quick to answer: “Most of the loss we’re seeing is due to two primary things. First, the anchor was not secured in a solid and stable location. Second, the anchor line was not fastened properly on the vessel. Even if the mooring is the strongest in the bay, a boat will still just drift around freely in the water, as if it had no anchor at all, if the connecting line is not taut and secure.”

Notions of suicide were frequently entering his mind lately. If it wasn’t for Lee and a couple of his other good friends, he might not have even been here right now.

The men continued to walk as far as they could. When nightfall began to approach quickly, they decided to return home. Later that evening Marco did some reflecting on what Lee had said about boats leaving the place where they were anchored, even though they are still tied to it. This led him to think about the instability in his life lately. He was beginning to feel like he was one of those drifting boats. His wife had recently left him after they had been married over twelve years. And a neighbor falsely accused him of a crime that he had not even thought of committing. The credit card company he was trying his best to repay was now demanding full payment. The job he was employed with for the past ten years started the process of cutting staff. His name was rumored to be on that list. Notions of suicide were frequently entering his mind lately. If it wasn’t for Lee and a couple of his other good friends, he might not have even been here right now. Marco’s unanswered question of “What now?” moved to the forefront of his thinking. So, he went over to the bookcase across the room and scanned the meager collection of reading material stacked inside. He spotted a Bible lying sideways, and, on a whim, he decided to take it out and read it. He recalled seeing his aunt always reading one and that she often found solace in it. So why couldn’t he do the same thing?

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast…

Hebrews 6:19

After an hour or so of constant flipping and reading some of everything, from assorted random verses to whole chapters, nothing in it seemed to speak to him. Yet he was determined to find something there that would be of some help to him. After a brief break, Marco randomly reopened the Bible and found himself in the book of Hebrews, where he began to read. But his eyes just glazed over the passages. When he was scanning the sixth chapter and starting on the seventh, one verse drew his attention: “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast…” (Hebrews 6:19). The words “hope,” “anchor,” “sure,” and “stedfast” suddenly began to reverberate deep within his heart.  He knew that, somehow, he had just found the solution. But now he wondered where he would be able to find this “hope” and “anchor.”

A black and white picture of a man in prayer at a church pew with bible and glasses nearby

Marco agonized over this during a restless night of sleep, and then began to cry out to God for help and direction. The next day he went back to the waterfront with Lee, with the verse he had read the night before still lying heavily on his mind. As they walked along a narrow trail, Lee kept mentioning spiritual subjects and about how the path they were on was like the way to God. Finally, Marco knew he could not contain himself anymore. He blurted out, “Just what is this “hope” the Bible is referring to when it says, ‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast?’”

When you look around at all these vessels strewn about the bay, you can easily see what happens when there is poor anchorage.

Lee was taken aback at first by the abruptness of Marco’s statement. He paused for a moment while he flipped rapidly through a small copy of the New Testament he had taken out of his pocket. Then he said, “I’m glad you asked, because the answer is rather simple and is found in Hebrews six, verse twenty. “…the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus…”. You see, Jesus Christ is the One who is our hope and anchor. When you look around at all these vessels strewn about the bay, you can easily see what happens when there is poor anchorage.”

“Actually, last night I was thinking about how my life currently is a lot like what we are looking at today on the waterfront,” Marco replied.

A black and white picture of a completely wrecked wooden fishing vessel on shore

Lee continued, “It’s only when our life is firmly anchored in Jesus Christ that we are able to weather whatever storms come our way. Yet, equally important is the fact that the line connected to the anchor must be kept tight. Like I told you yesterday, no matter how secure you make your boat underwater, if the attached line that connects to your boat is slack, it will drift all over the place and likely end up being wrecked.”

Instead of spending all your time on yourself, make a point of spending some of it with Him. Tell Him that you’re sorry for all of your wrongdoings against Him, and for all of the time that you’ve ignored Him.

“Wow! I really relate with that,” Marco responded. “Right now, it seems like I’m heading for disaster. I once knew about Jesus, but so much has come between us over the years. It seems like that anchor is a long way off, and I am just tossing about in the sea at the mercy of the wind and waves. What do I need to do to make myself secure in Him?”

Then Lee explained: “Well, the first thing would be to reel your anchor line in. Instead of spending all your time on yourself, make a point of spending some of it with Him. Tell Him that you’re sorry for all of your wrongdoings against Him, and for all of the time that you’ve ignored Him. Ask Him to forgive you, and then ask Him to help you stop doing all that has kept you from Him in the first place. Let Jesus know that you want to know more about Him. You were able to read that verse in Hebrews, so you are able to read other parts of the Bible too. But this time, ask Him first to help you understand it as you are reading and apply it to your own life.

Don’t feel afraid to talk with Him. He loves you more than you could ever know.

And if you keep it up, you’ll find your line to Him growing more and more taut. It won’t be long before the anchor will be in view, and you will be secure in Him!”

A silhouette of a man kneeling at a large cross with reddish clouds at sunset in the background

What about you reading this right now? What is your life like today? Are you anchored in Jesus? If you believe you are, then is your line connected to Him tight and strong? Or are you drifting around in the sea, battered by storms, maybe smashed against the shore? Come before Him right now and admit your guilt and be determined to turn away from the cause of it for good. God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for the sake of all of your sins or wrongdoings against Him. Jesus paid the penalty in your place. Once you seek Him and place Him first in your life, you will find that the slack is gone from your anchor line. As a result, whenever the storms come, you can rest assured that He will keep you safe and secure!

[Image credits:(featured image (when applicable):Claudio Sabia/freeimages); Foundry/pixabay; Samuel Martins/unsplash; Peter Crosby/pexels; Gerd Altmann/pixabay]