Wednesday, December 23, 2015

forgot where to look?

I hate to admit it, but I was feeling rather sorry for myself today when God took the opportunity to remind me, or smack me, about how truly blessed I am. I had spent the morning grumpy and even took some time to whine about stuff to God. I was going to my appointment, when I saw someone who definitely was going through one of the toughest struggles of his life. He had survived a terrible accident and was now in the long fight of recovery. His family was with him, waiting patiently and helping him.  I almost immediately heard God, "Do you really have all that much to feel bad about?"
I had forgotten to keep my eyes on the One who blesses me beyond measure.  I had forgotten to keep my thoughts and my mind on Him.  I had forgotten to keep my faith and trust in the Savior and Giver of Life.
I began to think about Peter standing in that boat on a stormy sea.  He saw the same figure as the others walking out on the boisterous water.  Yet, even in fear, he was the only one who said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” When Jesus said, "Come," he stepped out in faith and began walking on that water.  When he began to see, feel and hear all those waves raging about him, he began to be afraid.  You see, he got his eyes on the circumstances around him.  He was looking around rather than right at the One who told him to come out there.
Do we often forget to keep our eyes on Jesus?  Yes, I think we do. Peter was just a human like me and you.  He knew that walking on water was impossible.  He knew that he was in a dangerous situation.  He was doing something miraculous, yet his mind got distracted by the situation around him.
I definitely allowed myself to get distracted by the situations and circumstances.  All I really needed to do was keep my eyes on the Source of my faith.  So, just as Peter cried out, "Lord, save me!"  I began to pray.  I prayed for forgiveness for being selfish and doubtful.  I prayed for this dear man and his family.  I prayed praise to God and thanked Him for reminding me of how blessed I really am.
I also remembered that Jesus took hold of Peter and took him to the boat.  Jesus then said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”   (Matthew 14:22-33)
Why do I doubt?  Doubt can very much cripple me in my faith.  Doubt is the opposite of faith.  I am disappointed in myself for doubting.  I know God can do anything.  It says, "With God all things are possible."(Matthew 19:26) I had just quoted this verse on Sunday.
I know I need to cry out just like the father in Mark 9:24, Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Doubt disappoints God. He wants us to have faith.  For without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
James 1:6 says But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
I do not want to be tossed about. I want to stand steadfast and firm.  I want my faith to be unwavering, even when it appears I should lose hope.  I want to keep my eyes fixed on the One who is greater than all things. So I pray that even when circumstances or situations try to distract me, my eyes will be straight ahead, looking only at Jesus. May I cry out, Lord, help my unbelief, when I feel weak.  May I trust only in Him. My circumstances are never too big for God.  He calmed a storm. He can calm my storms. He can even calm me. I am so grateful that God took time to remind me today, to get my eyes back on Him.  May we all find ourselves "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2.

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