Jill Jarrell Newsome
Sparkly & Stormy
Recently we were on the boat and it was beautiful! We had the right amount of breeze, hot sun and sparkly water. I love sparkly water because that means the sun is shining down on the salt water making it look like diamonds dancing around. Even Mike knows what sparkly water is! We had been riding for a while and were getting ready to anchor when we saw lightening in the distance. Shortly we heard thunder. It looked like the storm was moving past us but we decided we better leave. When I say we better leave, we better leave! Very quickly, the wind picked up, the sky darkened, the smooth waterway was rough with waves. The thunder came more often and the lightening seemed closer. All of a sudden there were boats all leaving the island and trying to outrun the storm. Dad always told me to respect the water and stay focused because storms can come up quick!
Simon Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, learned a lesson about the importance of keeping focused, keeping his eyes on Jesus! Jesus and his disciples had had a long, hard day. Jesus had been teaching a huge crowd of people and healing the sick. His disciples had just fed a crowd of more than 5,000 men, women, and children. They were very tired. Jesus told them to get in their boat and go to the other side of Lake Galilee. He sent the crowds away and went to a quiet place to be alone and pray. Later in the night, the boat was quite a distance from the shore when the wind picked up and the water became rough with waves. Jesus went out toward the boat walking on the water. When the disciples saw him they were afraid. "It's a ghost," they cried. Jesus answered, "Don't be afraid, take courage, it's me!" Peter called out to him, "Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," said Jesus. Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. But when he started looking around and saw the big waves he was afraid and he began to sink. "Lord, save me!" he cried. Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. "Why did you doubt?" Jesus asked.
Peter began to sink because he lost his focus. He was bold enough to step out of the water. He stepped out in faith but in the midst of the storm raging around him, he lost focus. He was looking at the storm and took his eyes off of Jesus. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was fine, walking on water! But the moment he lost focus he began to sink. We have storms in our lives and often times we lose focus - at least for a little while before we remember who is in charge. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and put our trust in Him.
Jesus is the answer to every problem we will ever have! Jesus is the answer to every challenge we will ever face! Even though we know this, most of us, during a storm often take our eyes off of Jesus. We begin to look at the things around us. Our circumstances. We are trying to figure out how we are going to get ourselves out of the situation. Yes, WE are trying to figure out how we are going to fix things!
Like Peter, during a storm, we begin to look at the our surroundings. We see the waves rising higher and higher. We feel the winds increasing to hurricane speeds. Our physical senses take over causing us to sink. Right before we drown we cry out to Jesus. I sometimes wonder if I wait so long to cry out because I forget about the supernatural. God can do anything! Ephesians 3: 20, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..." Matthew 19: 26, "Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Luke 1: 37,
"For nothing will be impossible with God." (ESV)
We must recognize and acknowledge that anything is possible with God. His ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55: 8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." God's way is always better. Believe that Jesus can do extraordinary, supernatural things!
No matter the storm in our life right now Jesus is the answer! Maybe you just got tragic news, maybe you are drowning in debt, maybe you have relationship issues, maybe you lost your job, maybe you are drowning in despair and feeling hopeless. These waves are threatening to capsize you and pull you under. Like Peter, cry out to Jesus, "Lord save me!" He is the answer! He will keep you afloat! Peter was afraid to face the supernatural. Keep your eyes on Jesus and not on the storm.
Your relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important part of your life. In Him everything you will ever need to be successful in overcoming the challenges you go through (2 Peter 1:3).
As you continually look to Jesus, He will be the “author and finisher” of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). He will lead you to overwhelming victory, even amid the storms of life.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12: 2, "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." If we keep our eyes fixed on His Word and allow them to resonate above our doubt, worry, conflict and uncertainty we can enjoy an extraordinary walk with Jesus.