Some facts of life we are taught and some we discover! Here’s one that you may not have been told but is nonetheless a reality to be observed – DRIFT. People can seem firmly rooted in relationships, in jobs, in morals, in safety, in belief and faith until the powerful tides of life come along and drift begins. Like a boat that is moored with apparently securely knotted ropes, the knots can be found wanting, gradually loosening until the boat floats away from its moorings. It may be more sudden as when lightning hits a riverside tree dispatching a branch to the whims of the sea. Who knows which tree this piece of driftwood came from and its story before it was found battered and washed up on a remote beach in New Zealand?
- ‘To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr
- ‘Secularism has no central goal, it's just promoting endless relativism. That's why there is a huge moral drift’ – Ann Widdecombe
- ‘You and I are, by birth, by nature, and by choice, inwardly depraved, which is to say that we are entirely corrupt. That's not to say that we have no good in us; we do. However, anything good in us has been tainted with evil. It touches everything. Without the redeeming power of Christ we cannot halt our own moral slide’ – Charles R Swindoll
- ‘It can be easy to let all sorts of things in your life slide, including your relationship’ – Kate Garraway
Adversity and temptation will test the depth of our roots and strength of our knots! At times, the current can push a boat away from the bank, but if it is moored soundly then the ropes will hold the drift. When the violent winds come for a tree, the roots are tested and its rotten branches will part company. Do you recognise any times of drift in your life, past or present? Growth and maturity are altogether different to slip, slide and drift. Whilst the former reveal reliability and character, the latter show unreliability and weakness. If a person doesn’t address these, drift and shift will be the way through life in many aspects leaving a person baseless and fundamentally dissatisfied.
- ‘We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away’ – Hebrews 2:1
- ‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf’ – Hebrews 6:19-20
The world's largest tidal range of 16.3 metres is in the Bay of Fundy, Canada but the Severn Estuary in the United Kingdom regularly has tidal ranges up to 15 metres. Saltstraumen in Norway has the strongest tidal current in the world with up to 400 million cubic metres of seawater powering through a gap that is 150 metres wide and 3 kilometres long causing whirlpools up to 10 metres in diameter by 5 metres in depth. If you try to walk in even a shallow rip tide, you are likely to be washed away – once you have lost your grip then the shore becomes further and further away very quickly. Almost twice as long as Titanic, ‘Seawise Giant’ is the largest ship ever built but it was sunk by parachute bombs in 1988 during the Iran–Iraq War only to be raised and recommissioned. Her anchor weighs 36 tonnes but it takes more than five miles to stop her! The anchor we need to stop drift is even stronger than that.
- ‘The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?’ – Psalm 27:1
- ‘My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber ’ – Psalm 121:2-3
- ‘When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy’ – Psalm 94:18-19
- ‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it’ – 1 Corinthians 10:13
- ‘And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day’ – John 6:39
- ‘And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand’ – John 10:28-29
Friend, take heart. If you are just clinging on, God will not let you go. Hold on to those precious things he has given you – faith, relationships, morals, righteousness and the hope of glory. They are all His to give and ours to hold ... if you get the drift, hold on tight and you will feel the deep security of the stronghold that will not let you go. No need to be washed up battered on a hopeless beach.
‘We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll; fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love’ – Priscilla J Owens
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