Eyes on Jesus (08-04-21)
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had arisen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ’It’s a ghost!’
But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage, I am here!’
Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’
‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. 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: 24-31)
Last year, my golfing ability nose-dived throughout the summer season. I found myself mis-hitting the majority of my shots, and golf balls departed in directions and trajectories that I had never intended.
As my frustration increased, I became reluctant to play on golf courses, where I might embarrass myself with erratic and slow progress around the course. Instead, I paid many visits to the driving range, which is where I prefer to sort out problems with my swing.
Over successive visits I concentrated heavily on the path, speed and length of my backswing, and was sure that my swing was consistent and tidy. However, the balls showed no improvement and I retired from further golfing commitments with continued frustration.
Last week, in anticipation of an invitation to play a round of golf, I revisited the golf driving range. Although it might sound obvious, I decided not to concentrate on the golf swing and instead just to concentrate on hitting the ball. What a difference! A consistent strike and flight of the ball.
It reminded me of the behaviour that I have a tendency to adopt in the midst of life’s storms. I often seek my own remedies and solutions without seeking guidance from God.
Our relationship with Jesus is the most important part of life. In Jesus is everything we will ever need to be successful in overcoming the challenges we go through. The way to rise above our circumstances is always to put our focus on Jesus and keep our eyes on him.
When we do so, life is so much easier. Just as Peter was able to walk on water whilst he kept his focus firmly on Jesus. Just as my focus on the ball seems to solve my problems on the course.
Why do I keep needing to work this out afresh?
Dear Lord, help me to keep my eyes fixed on you.
Thank you for saving me when I feel like I’m drowning,
And for renewing my faith when I weaken.