Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Help! I'm in over my head!

Isaiah 43:1-4 “But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.

So, my yesterday started off pretty good. I coordinate the Mom's in Prayer program at my son's school and yesterday was our first session. Our study and prayer time focused on the truth “God has a purpose”. He has a plan for our children, our families, our school, our city, our country, the world, etc. It was an amazing time of prayer.  left feeling uplifted and excited about what God is going to do this school year. 

After that, the rest of the day seemed to go "downhill" – rather quickly I might add. Somehow, I lost focus and was distracted by the "stuff" of my day. Believe me, I had some pretty tough stuff to deal with yesterday but nothing that should have shaken me as much as it did if I would have kept my focus on Christ. Instead of talking to Jesus and laying everything down at his feet, I clenched my fists in a tight ball and held onto everything. Of course this made everything 10 times worse (why do I do this...I know better). I was one hot, stressed-out mess by the end of the day. Rightfully so, I didn't ask Christ to help me through anything. It's like I said "I can handle this one...I don't need help." Who in the world was I kidding?

This morning is a completely different story. I was preparing to start my quiet time, but before I got into what I had planned on doing, the Lord prompted me to go to Isaiah 43:1-4 - in the Message paraphrase. The first four verses reminded me that the Lord is there even when I'm in over my head. When I face rough waters, I won’t go down because he is with me.

This thought led me to one of my favorite Bible stories of all time…Peter walking on water. This story is found in Matthew 14:21 – 34. Jesus had sent the disciples across the lake ahead of him. While they were on the water, the wind and waves started to batter the boat they were in. Through the wind and waves, they saw someone walking on the water. Initially they thought it was a ghost…but it was Jesus. He announced himself  “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (NCV)

“Lord if it’s you, tell me to come and I’ll come.” Peter waited for an answer. “Come.” That was all Peter needed to hear. He swung his leg and took his first step on water toward Jesus. I wish I could tell you Peter never took his eyes off Jesus…but that’s not how the story finishes. Something diverted Peter's attention. Was it a little wind and rain? Peter walked closely with Jesus and had witnessed the healing and miracles Jesus performed first-hand yet he was still distracted by the circumstances surrounding him. Peter began to sink. "Lord, save me!" Peter cried out. Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and saved him.

Jesus was there all along…even in the middle of our “distractions.” All we have to do is “call out” to him and he will save us. Yesterday I should have realized this truth a dozen or more times. Praise God for 2nd chances! Today, if I find myself in over my head...all I have to do is yell for help and Jesus will be there to save me....just like he saved Peter.

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