This post originally published on a previously-owned blog and was imported here to simplify my life. Please excuse any confusion due to this merge. I hope you enjoy the content!
Will You Choose Jesus or Distraction?
Ages ago, I heard or read or watched someone speaking about Jesus in a way that I cannot get out of my head.
You might be familiar with the story in the Bible book of Matthew* where one of the first disciples, Peter, walks on water. Even if you’ve never heard of this story, that’s okay. My thoughts today are for all levels of knowledge.
*Note: The same story of Jesus walking on water can also be found in Mark chapter 6 and John chapter 6, but Matthew is the only book where the story continues with Peter’s experience.
First, here is the passage (read Matthew chapter 14 to catch all of it…better yet, read all of Matthew!):
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage!” It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it is you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
“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!”
Peter got distracted.
He let fear set in.
His vision meandered to the “waves” of worry – of other tempting places to focus his mind’s eye.
And he started slipping away from Jesus.
This hits radically close to home for me…you, too? In mere seconds, I can begin to focus too much on events around me. I can worry too much about my child’s safety and his upbringing. I can concentrate too long on planning instead of doing. I can stress about how my friends don’t all believe the same things I do. I truly could sit here all night and list sins and distractions that take me from concentrating on my Savior.
I envision myself in the middle of a gigantic body of water. My freezing sides, from the tops of my ears to my outer ankles are drenched and my body is constantly swaying with the weight of water hitting me. But in front of me I’m dry and I’m cozily warm. In front of me is Jesus coming toward me, holding out His hand and His face is of such pure brilliance I cannot look away. I mustn’t look away. Why would I look away?
What in my life is more important? Blog writing? Child rearing? Coffee time with friends? Cleaning the house? Meal planning? Exercise? Dates with my husband?
As a mom with the above responsibilities and privileges, how do I find the appropriate balance? How do I do all those things while simultaneously not even batting an eye toward the waves? How do I keep not just one eye on the Lord but turn my full body toward Him and keep Jesus’ face reigning over all my day-to-day activities?
This is something I would love your input on. In the long run, sure, we are going to have to figure out the answer without the help of our favorite bloggers, our pastors or our spouses… We each have the responsibility to learn how to focus on Jesus in our individual lives. But how about we help each other out? What are ways you have found that help you maintain this focus? How do you ignore the waves of temptation all around you?