Have you ever played a game of tug of war? It seems like a pretty simple game with little or no strategy, simply pull the other team across the line.
As I was watching a friendly game of tug of war between some grown adults, it seemed that indeed there was a strategy to this simple game. Who do you think would be the most important person on the team? Do you think it would be the person in the front who plants their feet helping the rope not move forward? Would it be the people in the middle, or perhaps the person on the end? I would say the most important team member would be the one on the very end, the anchor. I watched as this pretty hefty man put himself in the loop at the end of the rope. He wasn’t pulling with his arms, but had his leg in a planted stance. His team swayed to the left, and then back to the right, occasionally moving slightly forward, but because he was such a good anchor; every time they started moving forward, he would hunker down so the team would not be pulled forward. Sure, enough the team with the strongest anchor won the game.
Another analogy we could use would be how an anchor holds a boat in a storm. When a storm is coming Sailors are trained to know how to safely anchor their boats as to give it enough movement to survive the storm, but not enough that it will capsize in the ocean and be destroyed. This makes me think about God and our lives. Sometimes life is so hard, and we are pushed in one direction after another. There are times when we think we will not be able to survive, but then we see the hand of God tenderly displaying love, mercy, and grace. You see in the Christian life God wants to be our anchor. When hard times come, and we are tossed about, God wants to anchor our faith.
In the book of Daniel, we see tenacity, a person just like the anchor, planted. I think what is simply amazing about Daniel’s life is he didn’t just say he loved God, but he demonstrated it in life threatening situations. He and all the wise men were about to be killed if he could not interpret the Kings dream. Instead of going into frenzy mode, he simply called upon the name of the Lord to deliver them by giving him the answer. He didn’t get his friends advice, but directly prayed to God. God granted his request, and they were saved. Daniel didn’t panic because he was already deeply anchored in God’s Word before the trial came.
When Daniel was asked to bow down what was his reaction. He stood! Think on this question, “when ordered to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue what would you have done?” Would you have knelt to save your life, but just not bowed your heart to the idol? Would we have been as bold as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Honestly, I wanted to write on my page absolutely I would have stood upright, but the truth is I couldn’t say for sure. Just like Daniel, they were different; they were anchored in God no matter what came their way. I also think it is so interesting how God prepared them along the way.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure
You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.