Life is painful. With the joys comes sorrows. Sometimes, the “lows” seem to far outnumber the “highs.” We grab on to those times desperately, for we know the lows will come…but like sand, the tighter we try to hold on to our life, the faster it falls between our fingers. It’s been said that you will certainly find whatever you’re looking for. If we expect our day is ruined, it is – because it’s what we perceive. Even when we ride in a blue car, other blue cars will stand out more than all the rest – because it’s what our minds are on. On days we’re soaring with the clouds, those storms seem far less, don’t they? When we go through each breath with our only foundation as hope, it’s shaky – based on things that waver and change like the wind. So – knowing this – why do we keep basing our happiness on temporary things, giving such power to others who are just as broken as we are?
God’s Truth says over and over, “guard your heart,” “love God first…” why? When our heart’s feelings are contingent on anything but God and His Word, we are leaving our hearts to chance. When we aren’t living out our love for God – giving Him preeminence over all (especially our fragile hearts), we limit Him in our lives, and then despair when it all goes to dust – as things always do where and when He isn’t invited in. It’s so hard to see beyond what we can see, touch, feel, and hear, isn’t it? The secret (lean in close – these are pearls, here) to real happiness, is allowing what is unseen become more real than what is seen. Because beloved – it is. We look at so many times of sadness, disappointments, and oh it is so hard to look away! We see shatters of glass where we used to see beauty – when things were “easier,” or “before.” If we’re really honest, perhaps we even grieve for those times – how it used to be. Looking everywhere but to God, dear ones, we can miss His sweet presence, His healing work in our hearts, and the hope that only comes from Him. Jesus lived like you do, walked like you do, cried like you do, hurt like you do. And He knows, friend, your suffering, and your pain, and He can bind together those broken pieces with His Truth, His love, and His plans for you.
When Jesus sent His disciples out on the Sea alone, He knew full well there would be a monster storm coming. These were sea-worthy men, too – fishermen who had seen all kinds of storms, but something about this one scared even them! To top it all off, here – in the middle of their panic – comes – what is it? a ghost?! – no, it’s Jesus – walking on the water! You have to love Peter – his heart was in the right place, yet his stories in the Bible help us to know he failed on his best days just like us. He called out to Jesus, saying “Lord, if that is really You – then I’m coming out, so tell me to step out on the water, too!” Jesus calls his bluff, and gives the green light…and out Peter steps onto the waves. He started out great – his face was set like flint on Jesus – first step, then another, and another. Then – we aren’t told what broke their gaze – perhaps the thunder clapped, or the lightning flashed brighter than ever, but Peter looks away from Jesus – and down at the angry waves. And down…he…goes. I can just imagine the sadness on Jesus’ face as He rushed to Peter’s side, reached out His hand, and said “why did you doubt?”
Could the Lord also be asking you that now? God put us – just like those disciples – in a tulmultuous, broken, stormy world, knowing what lay ahead – that those times would come. Jesus even told us they’d come, so we could be prepared – and He told us to keep our eyes on Him, and not fear. When we take our eyes off Him and onto our storms, we sink. So many distractions there are – like thunder, winds howling, downpours of rain (or perhaps tears). Peace is not a state of heart, dear one. Peace is a Person – and His name is Jesus. Keep your eyes stayed on Him alone, for it is only then that He’ll take those pieces and make them into a beautiful mosaic – whole again, only because of Him.
Purposeful Pause: What are you trusting your heart with today? Fixing your eyes on today? How could your heart change – and your life – if you made Jesus your cornerstone?
Worshipful Praise: “In Better Hands” – acoustic – by Natalie Grant
Prayer: Dear Lord, there are so many distractions around me, vying for my attention. Just when things get better, they get worse again. I’m ready to stop sinking and take Your hand – fixing my eyes on You alone. Help me to make You first – the place I look to first, the One I run to first. I want to see things through Your eyes, not my own. I’m going to trust only You with my heart, for You know it best since after all, You made it! Thank You that You are with me always. In every storm, be my Peace.
Digging Deeper: Psalm 118:22; Acts 4:11; Proverbs 4:23; Galatians 5:24; John 16:33; Luke 9:23-25; Hebrews 10:8-10; Colossians 3:1; Psalm 112:7; Isaiah 26:3; Hebrews 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:18, Matthew 14:22-33; Colossians 3:15; Matthew 7:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 16:8; Psalm 29:11; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 41:13; Romans 5:3-5; Romans 8:17-18, 28; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 22:37; Revelation 2:4