Written by Dave Lenehan
Growing up along the shores of Cape Cod, our family was blessed to always have some sort of boat on hand for fishing and shell-fishing. We started with a dark green 8-foot wooden row boat, then graduated to an 8-foot aluminum boat. A few years later, we had our first of two 18-22 foot motorboats that we used to cruise through the Cape Cod Canal and make for the open ocean for more fishing. It was an incredible privilege. Our boats were certainly not the yachts you might think of when you think of Cape Cod, but they brought us hours of fun and pounds of seafood!
One of the key pieces of equipment that any boat of any size needs is an anchor. If we were to set out to the ocean and turn off our boat’s motor but not toss the anchor in, we could drift for miles and be far out of the fishing zone where we started in a very short time. An anchor keeps your boat in place. It holds is fast to the location you’ve chosen. It also protects you from the push of the waves and ocean currents. It’s often not very big or even very heavy, but if tossed in correctly, your boat is fairly unmovable when at anchor.
The ships’ crew from one of the apostle Paul’s missionary journeys knew the significance of an anchor. Dr. Luke tells us in Acts 27:
“On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.” (Acts 27:27-29, NIV)
The sailors used their anchors to try to hold their ship in place so that it wouldn’t crash and smash into the rocks on shore during the storm that blew in. That time, the anchors didn’t hold.
There are a lot of words used throughout Scripture to describe our Almighty, immovable God. Strong tower. Solid rock (and we’re not talking a rock like the ones at the LU monogram; think more along the lines of a huge boulder). Strong shelter. Firm foundation. But, there is a passage in Hebrews that uses the word anchor to describe God in a unique way.
“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:16-20, NIV)
Did you catch that? The hope we have in Jesus is the anchor for the soul. Not only is Jesus Himself our anchor, our rock, our fortress…but the HOPE that we have in Him is an anchor for us as well! And notice what it says in verse 17, “…God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose…” Being our anchor is in God’s nature, it’s who He is. And it’s unchanging. God will NEVER stop being our anchor that holds us “firm and secure.” The hope of Jesus will always be an anchor for my soul, for your soul. What an incredible promise!