“So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus”(Matthew 14:29).
I am changed.
I have been through some stuff lately that I can’t even bear to talk about, but yes, it has changed me.
I have had to let go of things that have hurt me deeply. The kind of hurt that centers in your core and takes your breath away.
And I won’t ever be the same.
Oh, yes, I believe in restoration and healing, but some things that happen to us, change us forever.
But maybe that isn’t a bad thing. Nothing, and I mean nothing, the enemy tries to take away from us, will be lost forever.
Restoration is coming….deliverance is coming…..healing is coming.
See Jesus walking on the water to your storm tossed boat.
My very foundation has been shaken to the core but I surrender it all to Him.
He is there in the darkness,
in the sad and lonely,
and in pictures of our lives changing to a sad distortion of what we once knew.
How would we even survive this world without Him. If you haven’t chosen Him as your Savior, whatever do you do with your fear and pain? How do you find peace?
We all can get distracted, especially when the storms of life rage around us.
It’s not easy to keep your eyes on Jesus in the middle of the night, when fear threatens to overwhelm you.
Very often our purest vision of Jesus comes when the storms of life threaten to capsize the tiny boat of our faith.
I love the scene in the movie Shack, where Mac is in the little boat out on the lake and his fears take over. The boat is capsizing to a ravaging black monster of fear that seems very real to Mac and water is pouring in……but then through the raging noise around him He hears Jesus yelling at him, “Mac, Mac, look at Me, look at Me!!! It took a while for Mac to look up and see Jesus…but, oh, when he did, the deception of fear disappeared….and he reached out and took the hand of Jesus and stepped out of the boat with Him on the water.
I hear quite often, “Dixie, look at Me!!! Dixie, look at me, look at me!! Take my hand.”
The wind always blows around us. The mighty storms come sooner or later. We have no choice or control over when the storm comes.
Today the sun may be shining;
tomorrow we may find ourselves toiling against the wind and rain, tossed about by adversity. Life can turn on a dime. We all know that.
What happened to Peter can happen to any of us. And most likely will.
For a brief moment, Peter forgets about Jesus and remembers who he is and where he is. He is Peter, a Galilean fisherman who belongs back in the boat. In that instant he looks down at his feet and sees nothing but water underneath. His mind comes to a quick conclusion:
“I’m not supposed to be walking on this water; this is impossible.”
When he lost his concentration on Jesus, he began to sink.
The lesson is clear for all of us.
Pray for “concentrating faith.”
For eyes that see beyond the present.
Lean into Him with all your focus and might.
You can survive any storm if you keep your eyes on Jesus.
Lord Jesus, help me to walk on the waters of faith because you can calm every storm.
When I posted this picture on face book a few days ago it so resonated with my soul–my life has been so like this illustration and I know yours has too….the more I thought about it however, the more I kept asking myself if I, indeed, can consider my life pure joy. Or have I been caught up in looking at the depth of pain and the depth of trials and sometimes pure craziness in my life, and thought, “Why the heck me, Lord.” Have I not sown into your Kingdom? When is my time coming?
Yes, I am really being transparent here.
“Haven’t I served you all my life? Why so much suffering. Starting from my childhood of abuse and ending up here, years later….still struggling for a reprieve.”
Woe is me.
Don’t we just get so wrapped up in ourselves sometimes?
I like what Michelle Perry says: “Storms are invitations to dance with Jesus. When you get high enough above the squall, even the most turbulent storm has beauty. And every storm has lessons.” Michelle Perry!
The scripture is actually in James 1:2-4:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
The answer is yes, I have, at times, been caught up in feeling sorry for myself at times and even justifying my right to do so.
We have these preconceived notions in our heads as to how our lives will be, and when it doesn’t fit our pictures we feel frustrated and defeated. Have we ever considered that the Lord has a different plan for us than what we thought?
Maybe the very trials we are in now are what is training us for the journey right into His plan for us in the next season……
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Galatians 6:9
Jesus tells us over and over in this life we will face many adversities and trials and temptations.
We cannot get through this life without Jesus, friends. I don’t know how people who have no trust in Him do it. Do they just give way to fear?
Yes, I think so.
Without our faith in Jesus to guide, protect, and rescue us…without Him to rush to in times of pain and grief….without knowing His extreme love for us, who do we turn to?
And what about this scenario? When it looks like everyone around you is being blessed and seeing the fulfillment of God’s blessings in their lives and yet, you are still struggling and nothing is happening. What do you do with that. Well, in Psalm 37: 1-11 it says:
Do not trouble yourself because of sinful men. Do not want to be like those who do wrong.2 For they will soon dry up like the grass. Like the green plant they will soon die.3 Trust in the Lord, and do good. So you will live in the land and will be fed.4 Be happy in the Lord. And He will give you the desires of your heart.5 Give your way over to the Lord. Trust in Him also. And He will do it.6 He will make your being right and good show as the light, and your wise actions as the noon day.
So, we hold on and bear up under the pressures of life and make a choice to put on perseverance…which is a fruit of the Spirit that He freely gives us when we ask for it.
We WILL reap what we have sown if we don’t give up!
And look at this as Psalm 37 continues:
Rest in the Lord and be willing to wait for Him. Do not trouble yourself when all goes well with the one who carries out his sinful plans.8 Stop being angry. Turn away from fighting. Do not trouble yourself. It leads only to wrong-doing.9 For those who do wrong will be cut off. But those who wait for the Lord will be given the earth.10 A little while, and the sinful man will be no more. You will look for his place, and he will not be there.11 But those who have no pride will be given the earth. And they will be happy and have much more than they need.”
Do we believe this? This is why we have to be diligent in His word and in talking to Him.
It boils down to a choice. Not a feeling!
I choose to believe that in due season I will reap if I faint not…
I can feel it in my very bones. How about you?
Are you ready to give up?
Hebrews 12:2 in the Message says it this way: “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!