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Jesus Focus


"The difference between faith and doubt is where we fix our gaze. Each of us faces situations every day that have the potential to sink us. It is so easy for us to get our eyes on our circumstances. We look right and left and see the boisterous waves on all sides. As we focus on the problem, we begin to sink" (Chuck Smith, Faith, 195).
In Matthew 14, Peter sees Jesus out on the stormy water. Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking toward Jesus. As long as his eyes are on Jesus, Peter walks on the water. When he begins to panic, and looks down at the raging waters, he begins to sink. (Read Matthew 25:22-33). I loved what Chuck Smith had to say about Peter. He's such a fascinating study on faith. He started out so timid, and became such a great evangelist. Peter was only a lowly fisherman, working his nets when Jesus came to him and invited him to be a disciple. Even then, he had a lot to learn about trusting Jesus. At times, he slipped up, and looked at the raging circumstances around him. But he, Peter, was called to something special. All he had to do was keep His eyes fixed on Jesus. And the same is true for all of us as well.
As children of the King, we have a unique role to fill here on earth. Right now, for me, I believe that role is mostly to be a wife and momma. "Mostly," as if that's not a big task, not a big calling. It's huge. It's so important. I'm raising little humans that will one day be unleashed on the outside world, oh dearie.... Being their Mama is often harder than I thought it would be. There have definitely been times when I've looked around and wondered how I'd make it, how we'd see the end of the day. With crumbs everywhere, miscellaneous toys underfoot (why is it that we never step on the soft toys?), a grumpy baby and a screaming 3 year old, my life has felt far to much to bear. I don't know how many times I've called my husband in tears, wanting to quit, wanting to just go back to bed for the day. In those moments of hopelessness, I was definitely looking at my circumstances, instead of my Savior. In my sleep-deprived, not-yet-fully-recovered-perfectionist state, I was, and still often am, focused on everything that is wrong, the seemingly hopeless waves rolling all around me. 
But then, I look up. And Jesus, is there, actually, He's always been there. Crazy me has just forgotten to look. Forgotten to let go and give the pieces of my life to the one who is in control. He already knows what he's going to do through this time in our lives, what type of people our children will grow up to be. He really just wants me to trust. Have faith. Pursue this life He's called me to. This specific calling to raise these two precious children. He just wants me to look up. Down means I'm looking at the circumstances. Up, means I'm trusting that He'll provide as I move forward, one small step at a time.
"What a vast difference when the Spirit begins to direct our lives! We no longer rely upon our own experience, our own abilities, or our own understanding of human nature. Instead, by faith we obey the command of the Lord. And so we experience success beyond our wildest hopes" (Chuck Smith, Faith, 192).
"Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne" (Hebrews 12:2, HCSB).