What Got Into You?

At times, I feel like I’m just like Peter who was so quick to jump out of the boat to walk to Jesus in the middle of the storm, only to take his eyes off Him and begin to notice the wind blowing hard around him. And then, I too, look down and notice the waves churning around my feet, and I realize I’m not safe. I’ve left safety behind in following Him, and now that I’m out of the boat, what in the world do I do? 

Doubts about His goodness creep in and overwhelm me, and I begin flailing my arms and fighting against Him in an attempt to save myself. And I begin to sink lower and lower in worry and self-pity and discontent. And the little girl inside me is throwing things…and more flailing occurs.

“Master, save me.” That’s what Peter said. And I too say that, but what I really mean is “Get me out of this stinking mess.”

But Jesus, what did He do for Peter? What does he even now do for me?

He didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”

Pride. Arrogance. Doubt. Fear. Anger.

And I realize I don’t want to necessarily be emptied of myself…die daily to self…to really be rescued, but what I want is relief from the struggles I find myself in. I need a breather…I want to be able to relax and have things the way I want them for a while and life not be such a struggle.

But as I wrestle through all of this,  Jesus reminds me that this training I’m in is not in vain…that I’m in the same race that Jesus was in.

Fix your eyes on Jesus, who endured the cross, shame, etc…When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again…So don’t feel sorry for yourselves...This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training. God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. Watch out for the Esau syndrome; trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. (parts of Hebrews 12, MSG)

And so, I stop flailing long enough to really say “Master, save me.” In those three words, I finally admit my own weakness and my need for Him and Him alone and submit to Him in trusting- obedience.

When I look at what Jesus went through for me, it’s hard to feel sorry for myself, but in His kindness He doesn’t beat me over the head with it, He gently reminds me to focus on Him and not grow weary and lose heart.


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July 2011
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