A few years back Debbi and I vacationed with my brother and sister-in-law near Cancun. While we were jumping off a boat into the crystal-clear waters for a snorkeling adventure, my brother’s wedding ring slipped off his finger. Suntan lotion was the culprit, and the ring fell to the ocean floor below. He and I looked for it as long as we could, but did not succeed in finding it.
About an hour later, as we returned to the boat, we decided to scope out the 12-foot deep water again. It wasn’t hard to know where to look because in our earlier search I noticed we were near the boat’s anchor chain. After a few desperate minutes, miraculously, we saw a gold glint of light off the sand below. Who’d have thunk it? Lose a piece of jewelry in the Caribbean and find it? Much less, an hour later?
I have often remembered that event, and it dawned on me that we were able to succeed because of a landmark – the anchor chain. It served as a stark reminder of where something was lost, but knowing the anchor was there served as a beacon that gave us the confidence to confine our search to a small area, rather than wandering aimlessly.
People – as ironic as it may sound, are the best landmarks we can find. Most of the time God works in us and speaks to us through other people. In those times when we have been in fellowship with Father, we have also been influenced in a positive and strengthening way by other believers. They become our friends – our teachers – our mentors. They are the anchor chain from the boat! When we know we have lost our way, we remember not just what what’s, but the who’s too!
How often have you found yourself in that dry, barren place, knowing where you can be centered and grounded, but choosing otherwise instead? And when you have found yourself there, become sick of it, and struck out on a journey to end the misery, do you not usually seek out those you know have an intimate fellowship with God? Most of us don’t come to these conclusions and recover on our own. We seek out someone who we know will not judge us, who loves us enough to put up with us, and who will lovingly remind us of the place we got off track, while firmly working with us to restore proper fellowship.
Always remember that relationship growth comes because of struggles. Just because you’re struggling now doesn’t mean God has forsaken you! He’s waiting for you to return, and you need to know that your relationship with Him will be even better than before when you learn the lesson of this struggle! Better yet, you’ll receive blessings untold when you can thank Him for the struggle!
We were not meant to navigate this life alone. Parents, teachers, pastors, and mentors of all types have lined the way for us. All of us haven’t been fortunate to have the best where all those categories are concerned, but the fact that we know the saving grace of Jesus points to the fact that somewhere, sometime, someone cared enough about us to show us The Way. Who are those people for you? Are they still alive? If so, how long has it been since you called them? Dropped by for a visit? Dropped a letter or an email? Did SOMETHING to say thanks? Or maybe it’s time to contact your anchor chains because you need to find your way back to the boat.
There is real strength in relationships.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT)
What if . . . today . . . you thought of at least one person – an anchor chain of your life, that you could contact and at the very least, let them know how important they have been in your life, and how you feel about them? What if you were to actually do that? Today?
I look forward to hearing about your experiences.
And, as always . . .