Damaged boats, homes, and cars stack up like cordwood along the shore from Miami to St. Pete. Hundreds of boats from small fishing vessels to million-dollar yachts were once firmly anchored just offshore. When Hurricane Ian struck in October 2022, their anchors proved to not be secure enough.
I once owned a 25’ O’Day sailboat. It wasn’t a yacht, but a nice small Keelboat with a galley, dining area, and quarters in the bow that could sleep a few hobbits. I loved to cruise around San Francisco Bay to the Golden Gate, from Mare Island where it was moored.
On one such excursion, I anchored off the shore at China Camp. After setting anchor, I enjoyed a beautiful evening watching the sunset and allowing the waves to rock me to sleep.
Early in the morning, I awoke to find that both the bow and stern anchors failed to hold. I had drifted with the tide under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, past Tiburon and Belvedere, and sat bobbing along in the shipping channel just off Sausalito.
I was safe but unnerved. I could have easily hit one of the bridge pilings and sank or been pulled through the Golden Gate into open waters. I could also have been crushed in the middle of the night by a tanker in the shipping channel.
I went to sleep confident in my Danforth anchors because when they are properly set they have an amazing amount of holding power. Although they’re one of the best they have a weakness, kelp, and rocky sea bottoms. The anchor can “kite” or “skate” over the bottom. It also tends to break loose if there is too much slack in the anchor line causing the boat to change direction.
I learned three things about my anchor from that experience. One, if the anchor can’t dig deep enough to assure a strong hold, it’s useless. Second, if what the anchor digs into is loose or covered in weeds it’s useless. And third, in every case, no matter how good the anchor is, or how well it’s dug in, changes in direction can also make it useless.
Our world is adrift. It is not securely anchored. To make everyone happy, and to assure that no one is offended, we’ve allowed morality, integrity, and character to become slack. That leaves us in desperate need of something stable, solid, and sure to hold onto.
The only thing I can think of that fits that description is an anchor bigger than our boat, bigger than any storm we may face, and bigger than our fears. We must place our trust in the only anchor that can hold, the One who put the waters in the sea.
“We who have turned to Him can have great comfort knowing that He will do what He has promised. This hope is a safe anchor for our souls. It will never move.” (Hebrews 6:18b-19a) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) “I the LORD do not change.” (Malachi 3:6a) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
We are each responsible to determine what we are tethered to, and in what we place our trust. What are you holding onto, and what’s holding you?
See you next time … Ben
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