‘For we have this hope as an anchor’
Many people collect items that bring them joy or remind them of a time in life or a moment of strength. The symbol I enjoy is the anchor.
I latched on to a scripture a few years ago that helps me hold on when the “storms of life” try to “blow me out to sea.”
Hebrews 6:19 says this: “For we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” (NIV). I think of the anchor symbol in five ways.
What is the symbol in your life?
For me, hope is a person. Hope is Jesus and all the promises that he brings into my life when I trust him. Acts 27 is a great example of how to trust in “the storm.”
Paul was on his way to Rome, and the ship he was on began to sink due to a storm. He said that, as they set off, a gentle wind began to blow. That gentle wind quickly turned into a storm that was strong enough to break the ship apart.
How many times have I passed by a small issue in my life and not dealt with it early on, only to watch it grow and blow my life into “unchartered waters?”
Then I think of my anchor symbol. The anchor of acceptance of truth is the first anchor I drop. It reminds me that I don’t have to “sail over” problems. I look at the issue and deal with it, or I prepare to accept it as part of my life.
If I want to “change course,” there is always forgiveness and growth available.
In Acts 27, Paul was next visited by an angel who told him not to be afraid. Paul relayed the message to the ship’s sailors with the words, “an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me” and more, that all the men had to stay together to survive (vs. 23).
This is anchor two, which is belonging. I remember who I am and whose I am. Find your people!
God has a tribe for you to belong to. Find them and live life together. We have all been hurt at some point by others or feel as if we don’t fit in. You always fit with God. He is always there and loves you just as you are.
Paul then encouraged the men to eat. He took the food, gave thanks, and encouraged the others to eat as well (vs 33-36).
The third anchor is feasting on the Word of God. I find my go-to scriptures and put them up on my wall, in the bathroom, or in my car. Surround yourself with the great and many promises found in the Bible.
Anchor four is thankfulness. Find something, even the smallest thing, to be thankful for. Being thankful changes your whole perspective.
Want to change your life? Try gratitude. Want to change someone else’s life? Try encouragement.
That is Anchor five that keeps me steady. Reach out to others and encourage them. Buy a coffee, or send a note.
I do anything that moves the focus off what I feel I am lacking to the sweet spot of the next thing God has for me. There is always a next thing.
“Drop your anchor” of acceptance, belonging, feasting on the Word, thankfulness or encouragement, and wait out “the storm.”
Jenny Hull is the executive director for Family Promise of Lycoming County