It’s not you. It’s Him.

And then, occasionally, you get launched from the boat, into the tumultuous waves crashing all around you, and the wind roars through your weary, war-worn bones,  and it seems a hopeless situation, threatening to drown you in an unforgiving sea of life’s chaos. A big gulp before going under, as the churning waves crash over your head. You flail your arms and beg for someone to see you, to reach out to you, to let you know that the storm will not win. To let you know you’re not alone.

I know I am not the only one who gets there.
There are many of us.
We are His warriors.
We are being trained.
We are not alone.

I know the waves are big and scary,  the debt seems insurmountable, the disease seems to persist, the hurt seems like it will never heal, the child seems to challenge everything, the loss seems too great, the burden feels too heavy, the past seems unforgivable, the people seem too harsh, the memories seem too vivid… I’ve been in those places. I’ve been nearly consumed in those very waves. It’s real.  You’re not imagining it.

This is not all there is.
There is {more}.
All hope is not gone.
You are not alone.

I see you.

More importantly, He sees you.

This.  All of this.  Is just a season. It is temporary.

Your focus is on the circumstances, and I get it.  I really do.  I’ve been overboard.  I know how hard it is to NOT see the waves and the storm when they are crashing all around you, threatening to take you down.  I know how hard it is to take your eyes off the mess before you and focus on something, Someone greater.

I’d like to take a little detour.  You see, as I read the Word, I always feel a {kindred-ness} with the apostle Peter. Leave it to me to pick the impulsive one, the one who leaps recklessly, wildly chops off ears, and blatantly denies and doubts Jesus, after spending years by His side, witnessing the very miracles and walking in the very power. Yep, he’s the one I “get“.

I want to share just a part of Peter’s story from Matthew 14 with a few of my own {notes} (25-33).  It might be familiar to you.  It might not.  I pray you read it as if for the first time.:

During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the sea {wow!!}. When the disciples {including Peter} saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified {I can only assume that means Peter was one of those terrified, as well}. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus {can we just pause after that… so many great things start with But Jesus.} immediately spoke up: Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.

{Here comes my guy, Peter} “Lord, if it is You,” {Doubt. I recognize it all too well.} Peter replied, “command me to come to You on the water.” {Willingness. I recognize that too.}

“Come,” said Jesus. {Take courage.  It is I. Do not be afraid and now, come.}

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.{I can totally see myself in this place. I doubted, yet He said come, so I went. I’m sort of a weather freak, so it works that I would connect with the one stepping out from the safety of the boat onto crashing, stormy waves.} But {uh oh, I hear more doubt.} when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid {fear is not from God, the One who tells the wind to blow.}, and beginning to sink, {his very doubt/lack of faith interrupted the miracle} cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately {Jesus was right there!!  He was right there!! Peter reset his focus and boom, IMMEDIATELY} Jesus reached out His hand and took hold of Peter. {He was right there!!} “You of little faith, {Ouch!}” He said, “why did you doubt?” {why indeed?}

And when they {Jesus and Peter} had climbed back into the boat, the wind died down. {the wind was no longer useful. Jesus who could have stopped the storm while Peter started floundering in the waves could have, yet He waited until they were safely back in the boat. } Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are Son of God!” {revelation}

but jesus 2Oh my golly.  So much in this story.  There are so many aspects of this story that speak to me powerfully. I can relate on so many levels.  I can literally see myself as Peter, seeing, doubting, going, worrying, sinking, begging, refocusing.  Since I am currently working on an issue of control with my Father, I feel that He wants me to look at the doubt and lack of faith aspect of this situation. Peter, amidst the storm and the waves, asked Jesus to call him out upon the water.  He looked at the waves before he got out of the boat, but he wasn’t seeing them.  Why?  Because his focus, at that moment, like the rest of the disciples, was set on this Man walking on those waves.

Christine Caine, during a recent night at Unashamed (which a dear friend invited me to attend with her, and it blessed my soul in so many ways), spoke extensively on the distinction between looking and seeing.  You can look and then look away, virtually unchanged, but you can never see and then unsee, she shared. What a powerful truth!!

Peter looked out and saw Jesus, not the waves. He saw help. He did not see the storm. Sure, he doubted, but when called, he stepped out, in faith (for a minute). Jesus said come, so he went. He saw Jesus. Not the waves. Until that moment when he saw the waves instead of Jesus, and he began to sink, even though Jesus was right there!!!

You see, Peter forgot that he was walking on the water because Jesus made him able to.  He forgot to focus on Who was in charge of this miracle taking place. He saw the waves and thought, I’m in danger, I can’t save myself, I will drown in this storm, I can’t do it!!

HE WASN’T DOING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

When Jesus told Peter to come, in that moment, despite the waves, despite the wind, and despite the fact that Peter, a former fisherman, most certainly knew he was not able to walk on water, Peter stepped out.  He trusted {boldly} for that moment that it didn’t matter because Jesus. How quickly we forget! How quickly the waves and the storm and the debt and the illness and the kids and the hurt and the whatever crisis (insert yours here) causes us to lose our focus and see just that crisis/situation, instead of the very One who defeats it.

Put your eyes back on Jesus, friend.
Let Him call you out onto those deep waters.
Look that storm in the face and tell it, but Jesus.
Don’t lose your focus.
Don’t see at the waves and the storm.
See Jesus.
He sees you.

That’s all I got.
Jenn

 

 

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