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A lifeline is a rope which a drowning person clings while being pulled ashore. Drowning is being invaded and overwhelmed by water, which gets into your lungs so that you cannot breathe. metaphorically you can be said to be drown in sorrow, or grief, or any other invasive mood that disrupts normal personal life.
Today we are surrounded by people drowning in the raging waters of hopelessness. The proverb rightly says that while there's life there's hope, but the deeper truth is that only while there's hope is there is life. When the light of hope goes out, and there really seems nothing to live for anymore, life itself becomes a killing burden. We are so made that we live very much in our future, and the desolation of feeling that there is nothing worthwhile to come, nothing good ever to be expected again, eats the soul away like a corrosive acid...
J.I. Packer, Author, (1926 – 2020), known for his best-selling book, Knowing God, as well as his work as an editor for the English Standard Version of the Bible. He was a signer on the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, a member on the advisory board of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and also was involved in the ecumenical book Evangelicals and Catholics Together in 1994. His last teaching position was as the board of governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was awarded the St. Cuthbert's Cross at the Provincial Assembly of ACNA on 27 June 2014 for his "unparalleled contribution to Anglican and global Christianity."