Tuesday, 1/17/17 – Gripping Power

Have you ever tried putting a screw into the wall? If the wall is thin, the screw has no holding power, and when it is tugged a little it comes out again, leaving a gaping hole behind. Carpenters know that a screw needs gripping power, so before they put the screw in the wall, they insert an expandable, plastic sleeve called an “anchor.” As the screw moves through the “anchor” it forms a tight grip with the wall.

Much of the world’s activity today consists of inserting screws into the walls of life, without the screws being “anchored.” So, it is no surprise that the solutions do not hold, and, beyond that, they leave gaping holes in the walls.

Being involved in the world, we have a tendency to invest our time and energy into plans that are not anchored. And, so, after a time, we get discouraged because what we are doing isn’t working.

The author of the Book of Hebrews (6:10-20) wrote to an established group of Christians who were starting to get “sluggish” in their faith and were falling back into just drifting through life without the spark of “eagerness” they once had. They lay prey to the winds of deceit. The writer realized that what this group needed was an “anchor” to hold them fast to their faith. He called this “anchor” the gift of hope.

“…we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This is as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

What powerful words!

The Holy Spirit has given us the gift of hope as our anchor. And this anchor is so deep and powerful that it “reaches into the interior behind the veil.” It reaches all the way behind the veil that hides us from the Holy of Holies, all the way into the heart of our great high Priest, Jesus, who is our forerunner in faith. What a solid grip we have when we invest our lives in going deeper and deeper into this anchor of hope.

How wasteful and even dangerous to live our lives “unanchored.”

Jesus dealt with people who believed that the “Law” was the only anchor they needed. They refused to invest their hope in Jesus. As a result, then, their solution, little by little, fell apart. Their lives had no real gripping power because they had no anchor. In contending with the Pharisees Jesus said (see Mark 2:23-28):

“That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The Sabbath and its rules were screws, not anchors. Unless the Sabbath came under the Lord of the Sabbath, it could not hold any weight. Sabbath without Jesus is false hope.

Hope is grounded in the promises of God. Abraham, our father in faith, lived a life of relentless hope because he was anchored in his relationship with God. And, as we know, Abraham did not live to see the full results of these promises.

“And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained his promise.”

Did we notice those two words, “patient waiting?” These are the essential ingredients of hope. This is where we “moderns” come up short. We are not patient and we hate to wait—especially if the waiting period amounts to years and even decades of our lives. And so when things don’t work out quickly, we tend to give up, lose our enthusiasm for faith and abandon God’s plan for our lives. Remember how long Abraham had to wait before Isaac came along?

Today, then, we ask the Holy Spirit to drive our faith deeper into the anchor of hope that God has provided for us. Connected to Jesus, even when we feel discouraged, we do not waiver, and we remain eager to move forward into his sure promises for our lives.

As the world begins to drown in a sea of hopelessness, may it begin to realize that it needs the anchor of hope that is demonstrated by the patient, eager waiting of those who have rooted their lives in Jesus Christ.

“May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call” (Ephesians 1:17-18).

About the Author

Author Bob Garvey lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a master’s degree in religious education and has been an active leader in the Catholic charismatic renewal for forty years. After retiring as a high school teacher, he began to write daily commentaries on the Church’s liturgical readings and other topics relevant to Catholic spirituality. He is married to Linda, has three daughters and four grandchildren.

Author Archive Page


  1. Thanks Bob for your wonderful analogy of comparing wall anchors to anchoring our hope in Jesus Christ to every worldly thing we do in our lives. The wines skin readings have always left me confused about how they related to todays world. God bless.

  2. Patient, hope and seeing examples of those who have practiced imitating Christ, I can surely receive THE PROMISE.

    Thanks Bob and God bless you.

  3. Thanks Bob for the wonderful reflection,may God give more wisdom in His word,so people who read your commentary will learn more from the word of God

  4. Without being anchored in Jesus, life is very, very difficult to get on with. Every law/rule/sabbath in the world is easier to keep if we only hold onto Jesus. Abraham is a fine example of this, who held onto God despite the oddest of circumstances. I believe this now since I found Jesus three years ago and have been holding on to Him ever since. My life is the easiest (with Him in it) more than it has ever been otherwise.

  5. thanks so much sir, for this reflection of today. was really touched. sometimes am weary of patiently waiting. every good and perfect gift comes from above. may God gives me the virtue of patience and tolerance in Jesus name. Amen.

  6. You say, “hope is grounded in the promises of God”. This statement of hope is nebulous, lack’s definition. Why should we wait patiently for years and decades for God to reveal His plan for our lives? Living simply with hope, without some realization of the promises, is futile, beyond man’s fortitude. Please give your interpretation a firmer anchor.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.