Rise Above the Storm
When the unexpected happens, do you let your circumstances affect your outlook or do you let the strength, peace and presence of Christ keep you calm?
Let's take a look at Peter. An unexpected storm rises up, the ship is rocking, the waves are crashing, and suddenly he sees a figure walking across the restless sea. It is Jesus, just as calm as can be. He decides to get out of the boat, the place that instinct would tell you is the "natural" spot to stay in order to survive. As Peter's eyes stay fixed on Jesus he walks through the storm at perfect peace, rising above the situation of the deep raging waters and joining in the divine nature of God, stepping on top of the water even in the midst of chaos. But, he starts to doubt, his flesh tells him this isn't right, he looks at the mighty waves, he hears the powerful gusts of wind, he removes his eyes from His savior and begins to sink. He takes his focus off Jesus and devotes his thoughts to the relentless storm, and the water begins to swallow him up. As he starts to sink He cries out to the Lord "Save me!" And Jesus, who was there the whole time reached down in His unfailing love, with His faithful hand and pulled Peter out. Jesus wondered at Peter's faith, and asked him "Why did you doubt?" They return together to the boat, and the terrible squall ended. (Based on Matthew 14:22-33)
How often do the storms of this life come? How easy is it to look at the stress, chaos, unbelievable, and think what am I going to do? It happens, life is hard, things occur that you never plan for. But as those moments come, we need to decide are we going to look at all the stuff going on around us, or are we going to focus on and trust Jesus. When I am faced with a tough situation, instead of responding in stress, worry or frustration, which can be the "natural" reaction to the unexpected, I want to partake in the divine qualities of the living God by keeping my eyes stayed on Jesus. A favorite verse to meditate on when stressful circumstances arise is "You will keep in perfect peace him (her) whose mind is steadfast, because he (she) trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3 A mind at perfect peace sounds pretty great to me!
So, the next time you are facing a trying time, look to Jesus. He is still on the the throne, God is always in control, His plans for you are good, and His word promises "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 Choose to believe in Him, to stay focused on Jesus, and watch the peace of God, a divine quality that only our Lord can give, a fruit of the Spirit, manifest in your situation. "Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40 I want to see the glory of God! I want to believe! I don't want the water to swallow me up, I want to rise above the situation and walk on the water, through the strength of Jesus. I want to know in my heart that He will give me peace in the storm as I keep my eyes fixed on Him. I want to leave no room for doubt!