Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:7
I so long for the simpler, easier days. I long for the days when my house didn’t need repairing. I long for the days when the floors were easier to keep clean (though we love them all, we had fewer pets). I long for the days before my youngest son went to live with his father in another country. I long for the days when I was debt-free.
Those days were good. After the emotional roller coaster of divorce and the slow but steady re-building of our lives, it was good…peaceful…and as I clung to the Lord, our relationship grew deeper and sweeter.
I look around me now, still in the midst of a house renovation that seems to be taking forever, missing my son more than I ever thought possible, and I have to wonder…what happened to my peace, and my joy, and my contentment? When did they leave, and how had I not noticed their absence before?
Pondering this, I cry out to the Lord, “When did You stop being enough?”
The answer comes swiftly. It was when my focus shifted from Him to my circumstances.
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31
Peter went from walking on the water…walking on the water…to looking at his surroundings. He saw Jesus, Yeshua, walking on the water, and he did the same…until he looked away, and his eyes told him that what he was doing wasn’t possible under those conditions.
Did you catch what happened next? When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he began sinking, and when he called out for help, Jesus immediately reached out for him. Immediately.
Isn’t that so reassuring? What He did for Peter, He will surely do for us.
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5
The Lord fills our lives with good things. Family, friends, pets, jobs, and homes are good. We enjoy these gifts, and thank Him for them. If we’re not careful, though, we can allow them to become idols without even realizing it.
You don’t think that can happen? I didn’t, either, until the word divorce came up and I was suddenly faced with the possibility of separation from my youngest child. The Lord was so gracious to me. He showed me my heart, and it wasn’t pretty, even though it already belonged to Him. I had to give my son completely to the Lord, even if it meant separation from him. It wasn’t easy, and I cried many tears, but I felt such freedom afterwards, and peace like I had never known before. In His mercy and kindness, the Lord allowed my son to live with me for the next five years.
When we allow anything to take the place of our Savior, when we hold on to anything tighter than we hold on to Him, we err.
The Lord allows it, too. He allows us to fret and fuss and become miserable until one day we reach the end of ourselves and know we cannot continue down this path any longer. And so we repent. We return to the lover of our souls, no matter what we have to let go of in the process. His peace, joy, and contentment then return.
For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. Psalm 131:2
Is there anything you’re holding onto tighter than you should? Is your focus on your surroundings or someone other than the Lord? May I encourage you to let it go, and readjust your focus?
Jesus, Yeshua, is enough. He is more than enough. He is truly all we need, and in the end, our relationship with Him is what will matter. Truly. Call out to Him, and He will come, immediately, and stretch out His hand to you and rescue you.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Lord, thank You for Your patience with us. Please keep a tight grip on us so that we won’t wander, but when we do, thank You for bringing us back and reminding us how deeply loved we are, and how freely You forgive us when we ask. Help us to let go of the things that hinder us, or keep us from fully following You. Help us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on You, for You are more than enough.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30