I love to fish. Fishing is the thing I do when I need to release stress. There is something about being in God’s creation that re-centers us on what is important in life. My father recently bought an old fishing boat. My father, my son, and I take every opportunity we get to take it out to spend quality time fishing together.
Now, when you go fishing, there are a few things you must pack in order to be prepared for a successful trip. First you must pack your gear -- complete with fishing tackle and fishing poles. Second, according to my son, you need an ice chest full of your favorite snacks. Third, and probably most important, is you must pack your essential boat items: charged boat batteries, a full tank of gas, an emergency kit, and an anchor just in case things don’t go as planned.
I remember one fishing trip very vividly; it was getting late and we needed to get on the water. Instead of going through our checklist though, we decided to load up the boat and take off. I mean, who needs a checklist anyway? We had made many trips before and things had gone just fine. We hadn’t needed the checklist in the past. Really it was just something that we did because we thought we needed to, not necessarily because it was REALLY needed. This particular trip was a great day on the water. We hadn’t caught many fish, but we were having a ton of fun together. The sun was starting to set and my son, at only 7 years old, thought we needed to head back closer to the boat ramp. Of course, like any good grandfather and father would do, we completely ignored the 7-year-old’s wisdom and ventured further from the ramp where the fish had to be feeding. When I decided it was time to crank the engine to begin the trip back to the boat dock… as I turned the key… there was nothing. No crank of the engine. This wasn’t totally abnormal as it is an old boat. So I tighten the battery connection and then gave it another crank. Again nothing. After a few moments, I began to realize that the engine was not going to start.
I decided it was time to anchor down. Here is where things get really bad. As I went to grab the anchor, I quickly realized that we had forgotten to bring the rope that attaches to the anchor. (Like I said earlier, we decided the checklist wasn’t very important; funny now, but scary then.) What good is an anchor that doesn’t have a rope? The answer is, nothing. It doesn’t do ANYTHING! We drifted until getting caught in some grasses about 100 yards offshore. The current was too strong to use an oar and we were too far to make it back to the ramp anyway. Fortunately for us, another boat on the other side of the lake spotted us and pulled us to safety.
God recently revealed this particular trip to me in how this parallels our spiritual lives. If the Lord is our anchor, then what is our rope?
“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. ” — Hebrews 6:19 (NLT)
Hope. Hope is your rope. Hope is a very powerful thing. Hope is often the last thing that we let go of before we give up on ourselves. It’s the last thing we let go of before we give up on God.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ” — Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Hope is the very thing that anchors us to the Father. When our hope is in Him, we can let go of our doubts because we trust Him. When our hope is in Him, we can let go of ourselves because we know He cares for us more than we do ourselves.
CALL TO ACTION
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? Our hope is not in what we see, but in Christ and Christ alone. This week, take some time to re-center your hope in Him and, as you do, you’ll be tethering yourself to God our Anchor.” — Romans 8:24 (NLT)
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