Imagine floating in the ocean on a raft along the beach, eyes closed, listening to the gentle crash of waves along the shore and baking in the warm sun. You don’t have any cares or worries until you open your eyes! Then you realize that the shore is alarmingly distant.
Every one of us has the tendency to drift spiritually. I guess there are a variety of reasons, but I think one of the main reasons is summed up in the previous paragraph. We relax, eyes closed, floating unattached, at the whim of the water’s ebb and flow!
I find myself in one of those times right now. Life has been busy and I have been lazy! I have floated and drifted with the current and I have not taken the time to anchor myself tightly to Jesus. I have been drifting unattached. My relationship with my Lord has not taken first priority in my time and my thoughts. It’s not that I have drifted into major sin, or become an evil person; I have just drifted away from the closeness that comes from being firmly anchored in relationship with Him.
Staying close to anyone doesn’t just happen. If I want to stay close to my husband, I have to talk to him, spend time listening to him and enjoying his company. If I want to keep a close tie with my children who live away from me, (and have I mentioned I have a new grandson???) I have to pick up the phone and call them from time to time. I also have to check the mailbox, the email inbox and my Facebook to see if they’ve contacted me.
Doesn’t it stand to reason that if I want to stay close to my Savior, I will need to spend time with Him and search for His words to me?
I heard this as a kid and I think it makes a good point: A husband and wife were driving in the car, him on the driver’s side and her on the passenger side. The wife looks at the husband and says “Remember when we were first married and we always sat right next to each other when we drove?” (For those of you under 40, there used to be bench seats in front seats of cars and no seatbelts!) The husband looks at the wife from behind the steering wheel and answers “Who moved?”
If I am drifting from closeness with Jesus, who do you think moved? The good news is that He hasn’t moved and He is right where He’s always been, waiting for me to anchor myself back in the harbor of relationship with Him! Not that anything I do has any bearing on His love for me, or His grace of acceptance and salvation. But I want that closeness, so I must run to Him.
"This hope (the promise of salvation) we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil," (parenthesis mine)
Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to they bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me; O my savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide, oh receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee;
Leave, ah! Leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace. Amen
(Jesus, Lover of My Soul by Charles Wesley)