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When the Boat Rocks
Only as we are spiritually anchored to Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God can we find true stability. Everything else can be shaken.

Life has challenges. It has high peaks and deep valleys—as Frank Sinatra used to sing, “…you’re riding high in April, shot down in May.” This has always been true. Further, the pace of life and change is speeding up exponentially. New products come on the market at a fantastic clip. The latest technology is only “the latest” for a very short time. One’s three-year-old computer is viewed almost as an historical relic!

How does one get used to the near continual need to change…

In the past, a person might have at least a reasonable expectation of eventually settling into a career and working until retirement. For most, those days are past. Young people are being told to expect to have several different employers over a working lifetime, if not be involved in several different vocational fields.

Our cities are growing fast. New development and ever more sprawling housing developments are pushing the urban boundaries further into the surrounding countryside. The density of population is rising as well, as condominium and apartment developments reach skyward —increasing the population density and the attendant sense of crowding and congestion.

As a result of these and other pressures, the stress level of the average person is rising. How does one cope with all this pressure? How does one get used to the near continual need to change, to learn new things and to adjust? How do you cope with the traffic? How do you handle the crowds? Where can you escape from the noise?

Of course, we need to be realistic here. Our physical lives involve change. To cease to change and grow is to die. A certain level of stress is inevitable and necessary, and even serves as a stimulus to our development. Often growth on any level comes from responding to pressure and stress. However, stress can become debilitating, and begin to drain us of our mental, emotional, physical and seemingly even spiritual energy.

It can lead to fear gripping our thinking, and worry becoming a dominant preoccupation. Stress then ceases to be constructive, and becomes quite destructive. There are many books and articles that have been written about stress management and stress reduction. Many of us have our own individual ways to cope with stress, and no doubt you have heard much advice. A lot of it has to do with learning to take breaks, engaging in exercise and other forms of recreation to reduce stress levels. Taking days off, and occasionally taking a vacation can be helpful too. However, there are some extreme stressors in life that can’t be relieved using such otherwise useful tools.

What do we do when the boat that is our life really rocks? How can we keep from capsizing? What will anchor us and keep us stable when everything around us is chaotic? It is only in God that we can find that ultimate stability. Only in him can we find an anchor strong enough to stand the most violent storm (Hebrews 6:18-19).

The author of Hebrews harkens back to the earthquake that rocked the mount when God made the covenant at Sinai with the people of Israel. He draws our attention to a great shaking to come—a shaking that will rock both the earth and the heavens – a shaking that will remove everything that can be shaken. All that will be left is the eternal kingdom of God —the unshakable kingdom (Hebrews 12:25-28).

It is only as we are spiritually anchored to Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God that we can find true stability. Everything else can be shaken, including our finances, our health, even our very lives. However, the love relationship that God extends to us through Jesus Christ and our life with him is that which nothing can break. As Paul puts it, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Let’s find our ultimate anchor in life in those things which can never be shaken!

Gary Moore is the national director of the Worldwide Church of God.

Originally published in Northern Light Magazine, January/March 2008.




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