An allegory of drifting away, and then returning, to the truth.
Seagull cries pierced the air. A salty breeze brushed her face from the west, the skies ahead as clear as can be. It was time to set sail.
She had never ventured from this land before, but she had to explore. It was time to leave all she had ever known.
As her boat took the wind and glided away, she looked back to see the sunrise striking the dock and her home. That dock had been her evening abode, where she had sat sunset after sunset pondering about the world beyond.
Her adventures on the waters were abundant. She sailed countless days over the deep blue, embracing the endless horizon of unknowns and the company of strangers.
Filled with fishing and mapping, her weeks passed pleasantly. And yet, in the back of her mind there was a yearning for rest, for true purpose, for a final destination.
At each harbor she visited, she explored the town and partook in the wild festivities, enjoying the rambunctious nature of youth. At the end of the weekend, she entered her little ship once more, restless and slightly discomforted by what she had done and seen.
And everywhere, no matter where she went, men and women struggled as she had, asked questions in hopelessness about this life and this earth.
In the midst of kind hospitality and the entreaties of men, she sensed of all of them would shift in character like the tossing waves of the sea (James 1:5-7).
The rolling days upon the surf began taking their toll. She was sun-drained and weary of isolation. In the evenings, when lounging on the bow of her boat, she longed for the dock of home – the stability, the security.
In these moments of uncertainty, she remembered the last words from her father and mother, “Wherever you go, do not forsake the God of your family. We cannot stop you from going, but we trust that in some way or another, He will take you home.”
In her idleness, she often considered this God and when He would bring her home. At some points she resisted the thought of losing her liberty at sea, at others she wished to belong to Him.
In spite of the bright blue skies overhead, she feared the future, of when a storm would come.
It did come.
A deep rumble cascaded from the inky black sky, a ferocious wind billowing against her starboard side. Brilliant white flash bursted over her, spreading with stunning speed across the clouds. She needed to reach shore, if it was in reach at all.
Searching for the coastline with only lightening and her compass to show the way, she desperately hoped to discover an inlet for to safely anchor.
Water gushed over the sides of the ship, the sails whipping about and snapping as the wind loosened their bearing. But behold! In the distance a yellow lamp arose, small but its light strong.
Could it be trusted? What if was a harbor the pirates have overtaken? Would the foreign peoples of this place welcome her? Yet the lamp beckons with an unusual boldness, it almost did not appear to be made by man.
She carefully steered as the waves rocked her side-to-side, grasping the wheel with every ounce of her muscle so as to not fall overboard. The lamp loomed larger and larger, her grip weakening and weakening. Hours were passing, and she knew it was the only hope she had.
Exhaustion flooded her as the storm deepened its rage. When the lamp was finally before her, she knew it was her salvation.
The boat entered through a narrow opening into the small harbor, slumping down in relief (Matthew 7:13-14). The boat slid into the dock, still rocking from the choppy surf, but it was secure. She had arrived.
The next morning she awakened to see magnificent beauty. Her dock was one of many, but only a few boats floated peacefully in their protection.
White sand covered the pristine shore, gently sloping upward where seaside cottages beamed with color and gold. And in the distance, on the highest hill of the vibrantly-green bluffs, was a cross. Her parents, of all people, stood beside it, waving with tremendous smiles.
While she had never seen anything like this before, she sensed she would never want to leave. Carefully laying down the anchor for her boat, she double knotted the tie to the dock, so that her boat would not drift away. This was the harbor of God.
For when storms would come, or days of sun, she would always relish this harbor’s walls. This is where she belonged, she was back home.
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? Hebrews 2:1-3
Questions for thought:
What harbor is your boat currently anchored to? Are there things in this world distracting or taking you away from God and His truth?
Sometimes storms are used by God to bring us back to Him. Are you looking to Him in this season of your life?
Are you drifting away from the harbor of salvation, of rest, of protection from death? Do you know Jesus?
Do you recognize the light of God when the darkness of sin overtakes you?
The answers to these questions have eternal significance.