School is back in session. Four children, three schools, before school activities, after school activities, football games, concerts, plays, play dates. Just the preparations have been more exhausting than a full summer as a camp counselor – mentally anyway.
One recent afternoon as I was getting myself together for a very late trip to the grocery store, the children kept popping up with questions, reminders, and comments that just reiterated the idea that I am the anchor. I’m the one who everyone comes to in the house to keep it together and running. Hubs relies on me for encouragement and support. The kids rely on me for schedules, travel arrangements and help with homework. Everyone looks for meals and clean laundry. The dog even hopes he can get a walk around the neighborhood now and then.
Some days – ok, most days – it becomes overwhelming and I realize why anchors sink. They are so heavy. That’s when my brain did what it does. (Enjoy the ride…)
You know what else sinks? Rocks.
You know who was a rock? Peter.
Yeah, but he sank too.
Only because he forgot Who he was dealing with.
22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
I know it’s a strange turn of thought but try this on with me. My life right now – and probably many of yours – is swirling, windy, tumultuous and turbulent. There are circumstances, people, and responsibilities battering you and I from all sides. People are relying on us and we can only feel ourselves sinking like an anchor with the weight of life.
I have always related to Peter a little more than some of the other disciples. His heart was always eager but he was just a mess in his execution. This is no exception. Peter was brave enough to climb out of the boat in the middle of a storm and head for Jesus. I can very quickly claim to be reliant on God in the course of my mess and trials.
Peter got out into the middle of the sea and he realized what he was doing. “Wait a minute! It’s hard and rough and stormy out here! What was I thinking?!” but by then he was too far from the boat to go back and he started to sink.
“God I trust you completely with my kids but please make sure they don’t hang out with that kid. Please do this for them or that for them. I believe in your provision but your timing could be better.” I believe but I get into the middle of my mess and I start to doubt. And sink.
I love the end of this quick tale. Jesus took Peter’s hand and scolded him a little. But finish the story.
32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
When they got in the boat. Not when Jesus took Peter’s hand. Not one moment before they were back in the boat. That means Jesus walked through the storm with Peter back to the boat. The storm raged until they were back on board. Jesus could have stopped it at any moment. But He proved to Peter – and the other disciples – that He would always stay through the storm.
So right now, if you are feeling overwhelmed with being the anchor in your life…
If storms are raging and you feel like the boat is out of reach…
If doubt is pulling you under…
Remember who the real Anchor is. The same God who walked Peter through the storm back to the boat is the God from Psalm 18:2.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
He’s your Anchor.