Doubt, fear, worry…. the catalyst to our anxiety, the waves that will sink us.
“But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?””
Matthew 14:30-31 NLT
This morning I stumbled upon a story I know all too well. The story of Jesus walking on water in the storm. For many of us we know how this story ends….Peter gets scared and falls into the ocean, while Jesus pulls him up and questions His faith. So while this story is familiar, hear me out as I walk you through the thought structure that formed in my mind this morning in regards to anxiety.
Let’s look at today. Because today is all we got. We aren’t promised tomorrow and the Lord even warns us about leaving the worries of tomorrow, for tomorrow. So today, we woke up and this nightmare of corona was not a dream. We are still fighting lay offs, still without enough masks for our healthcare providers, still trying to find toilet paper, still trying to entertain, no teach, kids… while working from home full time. Yes, this is many of our realities. Let’s name them and get them out of the shadows. Now, let’s hold them up to scripture to find their validity, their truth, their hope in the midst of them.
“The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:10
What if we took every “need” we had right now… cure, masks, income, bread and exchanged them for Jesus. What if we fought every thought and changed our focus to Jesus.
“I could really use some…. Jesus “
“I would be content, if I only had…. Jesus”
“If we had…. Jesus…. our people would no longer be suffering this pandemic”
“I wish H-E-B wasn’t out of…. Jesus”
Ok, that last one is silly, but in all seriousness, the Psalms reminds us that those who seek the Lord, lack no good thing!!!
So if we take off the hat of “earthly needs”, and put on the helmet of salvation, from the Lord… can we not be released from the anxiety of our greatest concerns?!
But our first step, we must go to the Lord. Stay connected to the word. Through a bible plan, a scripture laced book, the Bible itself.
Friends, our anxious thoughts are the perfect breeding ground for the enemy to creep in and bound us to fear. But God is, and always will be, the final word, the answer that frees us from it.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
So back to my initial story of Peter, on the water, with his eyes FIXED upon Jesus, he walked!!! He walked on water!!! It wasn’t until he saw the waves (the virus), the strong winds (unemployment) that he took his eyes off of Jesus, feared the effects of this world and fell into the icy waters. But y’all!!! He walked on water when his eyes were on Jesus!!!!
I hope you can feel my passion in this moment. My heart aches for the anxious, I too have walked this debilitating road, but my hope now in Jesus is so much greater than any fear this world can throw at me. I know, with complete certainty, that if we take every anxious thought and immediately follow it up with “but God, my eyes are fixed upon you and your promises”, that the anxiety will fall away. We have that authority! To force those thoughts to flee back to the enemy that sent them. They are not welcome here!!
Think of every past trial, fear, hurt that you have suffered and remember what got you out of it. A person, a group, a book, a sermon… this IS God. He shows up, through His children, to serve you in your greatest time of need. And He will do it again.
I don’t write this as a condemnation but a testimony. I have walked through illness and survived. I have experienced so much loss and lived. I have sat in unemployment and came out with confidence. Not because this world provided but because Jesus used the resources in this world, through His divine will, to provide for me. Even in Peter’s doubt, Jesus rescued him. And He will rescue you.
My prayer for you today brother, sister, is that you will not be fixated on the waves and winds swirling around you. That you will find that one verse, story of Jesus and fixate on that, fixate on Him. That you too will walk on water!!!!! Because this world no longer has the final word over your life. You no longer find freedom in money, security or cures but in Christ alone.