What's Your Anchor?

Trust is the foundation for almost everything we do! We trust that our automobiles will start in the morning, that the roads will be open in order to get to work, and that our employers will pay us on the appropriate day.  Trust is also the basis upon which relationships are built, especially with those individuals close to us, as well as, the various institutions we regularly interact with and depend on (banks, government, medical facilities, religious entities e.g.). The list of relationships requiring trust goes on and on! Yet how solid are the foundations of those relationships? Can we really trust them? Can we really even trust ourselves?

I recently began seriously exploring the possibility of retirement, not just dreaming about it. As a result, I met with a financial advisor in order to get a second opinion (other than my own). My relationship with this financial advisor has been developing for over a year. He came strongly recommended by a close business associate and, to date, the advisor has provided me with some very sound advice/guidance that has kept me from making some silly mistakes. When I posed the question “Will I be financially okay if I retire?” his response was very quick. So quick that my “Spidey Senses” went off and I immediately doubted (did not trust) his assessment. In fact, I reminded him of what I did for a living and asked him if his firm had any kind of financial software that could run various scenarios to validate his “quick” and definitive response. He said of course and set up an appointment with another staff member in the office to walk me through a financial model. This model generates over a thousand potential scenarios and summarizes all of the outcomes with an overall “probability of success” calculation. That calculation, of course, was not 100%. When I asked “What do I need to do in order to attain a rating of 100%?” - the analyst said “you cannot attain that score,” as there is no total certainty. I tell you this story to say that there is only one in this world that can be totally trusted.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” You see, there is only “one” relationship in this world that has a 100% “probability of success.” In fact, it is not “probable,” but rather certain. The “one” that I am writing about is our Lord Jesus Christ, and the trust that we can place in Him because of the work that He has accomplished on our behalf and the work that He is doing in us. As the writer of Proverbs says, when we place our trust in and acknowledge Him, He makes our paths straight. Isn’t it an “awe” moment when you think that He is the one that makes our paths straight (present and future tenses). Isn’t it also an “awe” moment when we truly understand that it is nothing that we do, but everything that He has done (past tense).

Now comes confession time!  As my retirement story clearly displays, there are several occasions when I fail to anchor all my trust in Him. Yet, that is what I am called to do!  Am I the only one that mistakenly anchors their trust in something other than Him? I don’t think so. Regardless, I am comforted by Matthew 14 and the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water. You see Jesus called Peter to walk on the water as He also calls believers to follow Him. Yet even after being called and experiencing the success of the call (walking on the water and coming to Christ), Peter “saw the wind” and mistakenly anchored his trust elsewhere resulting in fear coming upon him and he began to sink. Peter, the rock upon which Christ said He would build His church, cried out to be saved and Jesus immediately took hold of him saying, “O you of little faith, why do you doubt.” Oh what a marvelous Savior!

My prayer for all of us is that, when the “winds of life” come upon us, we keep our eyes on Christ and remember that He has called us. After all,  it is he who has done, and is doing, everything. He is our anchor! Let’s rest in that assurance.

In Christ,

Jim Warren