Summary: The story of a ship in danger of drifting in a storm but kept safe by its anchor when it fastened to an immoveable object. A Parable of the believer’s security in Christ.
CHRIST IS THE SURE ANCHOR OF THE BELIEVER
Our harbour isn’t big enough to take the cruise liners that visit our Island. They have to stay out in the channel, half a mile from the harbour mouth. We may wonder if they’re secure from drifting when their great engines are no longer turning, when the tide comes in and wind gets up. But they are secure. Can you think why that’s so? It’s because the captain gives the order for the anchor to be let down. An anchor is a great steel beam with two hooks, and is let down from the ship on a heavy chain, and it takes hold on the seabed. This reminds me of a story I read.
Many years ago, a captain of an English ship sailing near Turkey was caught in a storm. As there was no harbour nearby he let down the anchor, but the wind blew so fiercely that it began to drag the anchor. It couldn’t get a grip on the sandy seabed and so the ship began to drift. Another anchor was let down but it too refused to take hold and the ship was drifting nearer and nearer the shore and soon would be stranded. There was only one little anchor left and the captain felt sure that it wouldn’t be of any use. But it was let down and to his surprise the chain tightened. Soon the ship was held fast and by the help of the little anchor it rode out the storm.
When the time came to lift the anchors, the big ones came up easily for they hadn’t caught on the seabed, but the little anchor refused to come up. They pulled ever so hard and at last it came up little by little and it was very heavy. Something came up with it. It was another anchor. The little anchor had caught in the ring of the anchor of a great battleship that had been lost there years before, and that’s why the little anchor held so firmly.
There’s a real message in that story. If a very little anchor can slip into the great strong grasp of a warship’s anchor, it receives all the great anchor’s strength. It’s just the same with us. Our faith may be small, but if it’s put into the great strong keeping of Jesus, all His love and strength and goodness will hold us safe.
There’s a hymn, "Will your anchor hold in the storms of life ...?" The writer says that he’s got an anchor that holds him in the storm. He got his idea from a verse in the Bible that tells us that believers in Jesus have "an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Heb 6:19). And how can be sure that’s this is true? We’re told it’s because of "two unchangeable things" - God’s Word and God’s Promise in Jesus (18), secure in heaven (20), but also with us day by day. None of the storms of life - temptation and trials - can shift us from our mooring in Jesus as we put our trust in Him.
(Sing the hymn by Priscilla Owens)
Picture of anchor: