Anchor of Unity

Acts 27:27–32

At this rate they were afraid we would soon be driven against the rocks along the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight.

Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship. But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.” So the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat and let it drift away. (Acts 27:29–32)

The scene breathed life-threatening fears. Imaginations ran wild. Paul knew that staying together was the secret to their survival. The temptation was strong to abandon ship and let each person fend for himself. That’s no way to survive a storm. As the water grew shallower, fear of shipwreck intensified. But Paul warned that allowing the men to escape meant certain death.

The spiritual application is obvious. Our tendency in dire straits is to cut and run. It’s easier at the moment to walk out of a troubled marriage than to face it and work toward restoration. Human nature wants to retreat to a place where each one of us can be all alone, lock the door, and pull the blinds. Alienated, we sink further into depression. Tragically some turn to alcohol, drugs, or worse, to a revolver.

If that in any way describes you, you need the support of family, friends, and especially God’s people. It’s easier to lower the dinghy and jump in all alone. I want to warn you against escaping. Instead, I urge you to stay with others aboard ship. Don’t leap and try to make it on your own. Lock arms. Stay in touch with those who love you the most, who will be with you no matter what. You need the presence of God’s people surrounding you when the bottom has dropped out of your life. Despite what you think, it’s doubtful you can make it on your own. In our case, we had a few close friends of the ministry praying and a unified board encouraging us. Relocating was a challenging experience, but not a lonely one. You and I are designed by God to make it together. The anchor of unity holds us close.

You will need the anchor of unity many times in your life, just as Paul did. So hold on to unity!

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

Posted in Church, Friendship, Marriage and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.