Security, as a comprehensive, theological idea enters my brain about as often as unicorns or Kim Kardashian's shoes. It's a concept that I spend zero time consciously thinking about, and yet, subconsciously, it is ever-present.
Security is a safety guarantee that produces peace, which leads to courage and confidence. Metaphorically, we see this everywhere: a house needs a secure foundation so the rest of the structure can stand firm; a child needs a stable environment to learn and grow; a ship needs an anchor to weather the storm.
We see the ship/anchor metaphor used a number of times in scripture. As an Oklahoman, I claim very little nautical expertise, but from what I gather, a ship's anchor is the perfect symbol of security. The safety of the ship is predicated on the fact that the weight of the anchor and strength of its chain are more than sufficient to bear the brunt of the storm.
My landlocked heart deeply resonates with the New Testament's use of the storm metaphor - being tossed back and forth by the wind and waves. I get that. I get feeling completely helpless in the midst of life's storms. When the wind picks up and the waves start to crash, I'll turn anything into an anchor: jobs, relationships, money, etc. Flimsy, inconsequential things are suddenly expected to keep the ship from drifting or even sinking; the problem is, these 'things' are never strong enough.
This is what the Scriptures call idolatry: elevating man-made objects to divine status. Our absolute obsession with idols only serves to prove how desperately we crave security and a firm foundation on which to stand. If we cannot trust in idols, then in what or whom can we place our trust? What is humanly accessible but not man-made, eternal but not ethereal, omniscient but not distant? What is strong enough to guarantee salvation in the middle of a storm?
The Gospel is the only answer. The Gospel is literally the good news that, yes, there is an answer to this crucial question and the answer is Jesus. Jesus was fully human, yet fully divine; eternal, yet tangible. Jesus did not simply display divine power by quieting a storm, he displayed unfathomable love by being thrown into the storm for us. He was the anchor that was thrown overboard, beaten by the waves and rocks, drowned under the sea of God's wrath so his people would not be lost. Jesus is our anchor. Jesus saves.
"We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf..." (Hebrews 6:18-19)