Mar 25, 2008

Sink or Stand

Well, girls, I don’t know what else to tell you but that I’ve been struggling this past week. I think it has everything to do with getting out of my routine and putting my time with the LORD on the back burner. Mary Beth…funny that you highlighted this tendency in your comment last week and then I ended up stumbling into that exact trap! Ugh…I’m so dense sometimes it’s a miracle that God doesn’t just throw up His holy hands in exasperation. Anyway, I’ve come to learn that I have to spend regular time with God in order to feel “right”. Yea, I can go a day or two and be okay, but beyond that, if I pay close enough attention, I can see my attitude start taking a downward turn. Unfortunately, I don’t normally heed the warnings and soon I find myself exactly where I found myself this morning, downcast and discouraged. Cranky. Thank God I had enough sense to sit down and talk out some stuff with Him, but, hello! Why did it have to go that far? Geez. . .rebel girl.

I was talking about all of this with my friend, Aimee, last night and her response was poignant, of course. It always is. Thanks, Aims.

“Relationships take work, and you’re in one with Jesus,” she said.

Of course! Just like my attitude with my husband Lou goes south, I mean WAY south, when we’re not connecting, my outlook on Jesus does the same. Poor Lou; he puts up with so much. When we haven’t cut out quality time, for some reason, I begin noticing more of his negative qualities than his positive. In fact, I think I even turn his pro’s into con’s! And I noticed myself doing that exact thing with God. Truths I previously had no trouble accepting started looking questionable. I began to only see the problems instead of the wonderful successes God turned them into. I had taken my eyes off of God and focused them on the world. What happens when we do that? Take a look:

“During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake…Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ and when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.” Matthew 14:25-32

Peter was doing just fine while his eyes were on the Prize, namely Jesus, but as soon as he started looking at what was around him, he began to sink. When we choose to gaze upon the world alone, without balancing it with the presence of God, we begin to sink. It looks different for everybody. For me, it’s crabby girl. Sometimes it even manifests as fear. Maybe for you it’s feeling sad, exhausted, chaotic or easily overwhelmed. Possibly, you start pulling away from people and into yourself. Maybe it’s a longing in you that just doesn’t seem to be getting completely filled. Whatever it is, the answer is in the person of Jesus. Did you notice that as soon as Peter grabbed Jesus’ hand and climbed into the boat, the wind died down? Within the grasp of Jesus, suddenly the world was safer.

It’s easy to get off course; this world is harsh sometimes. It brings with it many obstacles. But if we’re attempting to navigate it on our own, we’re set to sink. Take His hand, daily, and keep yourself afloat.

Lord, thank you that simply being in your presence brings peace. Help us to be intentional about pursuing you and continue to teach us how to have a real relationship with you. We love you, Amen.

Just a couple of discussion questions:

1. What is your warning sign that you are beginning to sink?
2. What’s keeping you from spending quality time with God?

I love you, girls. Thanks for listening.

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Anonymous said...

Oh number 2 is easy - I let myself think I can handle certain things by myself and I don't need to bother Him all the time with my troubles or thought. Like, "Oh, I got this one." And before you know it I'm wandering off the path and have to rewind to get back on track. DUH!

Anonymous said...

1. I think my warning signs vary depending on the situation at hand..but I definitely think I am one to pull away. I pull away in any way I can from people that might catch on to the fact that I'm sinking. Oh, here's another warning sign that I notice a lot sooner than the first - I begin "fantasizing" about getting plastered...or calling up guys from my know, anything to rebel from my current spirit-filled life.
2. For the most part, fear keeps me from spending quality time with the Lord. I know, it sounds crazy. But, sometimes I don't want to know what He's about to do in my life. I don't want to go through what ever He is about to walk me through. Sometimes I'm just stinkin' tired! So, in my twisted thinking, I think, "well, if I don't spend time with Him, I won't find out what is about to happen. And if I don't find out what is about to happen, then it won't happen. And if it doesn't happen, then I just saved myself." ...Okay, so maybe it's fear, laziness, and control. :)

(sorry I gave such a long response)
love you- A