I’ve been learning a lot lately that Gods word happens upon my heart when I need it the most. I know God promises that His word will not return void, yet somehow I’m surprised every time it happens. God is good like that. I have what I call those “white knuckle promises” (His promises you cling to so tightly your knuckles turn white) that are often my go-to scripture for certain things, but it’s bible stories and parables you don’t think of too often that come to heart at the perfect time that catch me by surprise. It’s those things that remind me that He is present, He cares about what concerns me and that fill my heart with joy.
Today has been a bit of a low day for me. (I promise this isn’t an invite to a pity party so stay with me, it’s about to get good) I’ve had quite a few of those lately and it’s those days that I do a lot more praying than I normally would. I have shared in my previous posts that this season of life has been very difficult and full of many trials for our family but I’ve tried to be careful with what I share because I don’t want this to be about our tragedy, but about His triumph. I don’t want the focus to be about the hardships, but about His mercies. One thing I haven’t shared is that I’ve had an awful lot of free time lately. Just two days after Christmas our family went sledding for a sweet little girl’s birthday and what was supposed to be a fun day with my family, turned into a very scary and difficult time. In the blink of an eye my oldest daughter and I slid off of the side of the hill, collided with a tree, and I ended up with at least 19 different fractures throughout my body. I broke my shoulder blade, at least 4 vertebrae, and at least 14 ribs. Praise God our sled turned at just the right time and we hit backwards so my body took all of the force, my daughter was absolutely protected and unharmed. All of that is to say I’ve had a LOT of down time, spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts, and have had many highs and lows over the last 8 weeks. Today has been a bit of a low. Sometimes being alone with your thoughts is the worst thing you can be.
I’ve spent a lot of time praying last night and today because I know when I start to feel discouraged it’s not coming from God. This afternoon I was having a conversation with a friend via text and we were taking turns sharing what has been on each of our hearts. Although our stories are very different, they are somehow very similar. We both have had many trials that have left us learning to hope and trust in the Lord differently than we would, if we hadn’t been through these really dark times. She shared with me some of her fears and discouragements and although my fears and discouragements have been for different reasons it was a good reminder for both of us that when Satan reminds us of everything that can go wrong (or has gone wrong) God still has this under control. Never once has He left us alone in this. That’s when Gods word came to my heart and reminded me to keep my eyes on Him.
“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” “Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV
I’ve realized today that I’m like Peter; when my eyes focus on my circumstances instead of the Lord, I start to sink. When my eyes focus on my fears and disappointments instead of the Lord, I start to sink. When my eyes focus on my doubt of how God is going to come through, instead of keeping my eyes on the Lord in faith, I start to sink. Sometimes I sink so much I start gulping water and gasping for breath but you know what? Here’s the best part! Even when I start to sink, no matter how deep I go, as soon as I lift my eyes up to Him, He is there with His outstretched hand. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Not only does He prove Himself, says to me “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” but he is faithful to save me time and time again. Not only is He faithful enough to lift me up out of deep waters when I start to sink, but when I keep my eyes on Him, He also calms the storm.
He doesn’t promise that every day will be a high day instead of a low one. He’s told us in scripture that sometimes it’s going to be rough, but the low days and tough times are only temporary. He’s with us when the waves are crashing against us, and knowing that gives us hope and joy that surpasses all understanding.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV
I’m weary and tired from rowing my own boat in the midst of a storm. I’m tired of sinking when I let the storm overwhelm me. Today I want to focus my eyes back on Him, and walk on the water instead. I’m praying you will do the same.
In His Love,
*Previously posted 2/3/2016