I’m a huge fan of the television show NCIS. What I love most about the show is not the cases, per se, but the way the characters interact with each other. They may harass and tease each other throughout every episode but at the end of the day it’s obvious that they love and respect each other and would go to great lengths to protect their friends. But sometimes Gibbs just has to give DiNozzo a loving slap upside the head as if to say, “What were you thinking?”
If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few weeks you know that I’ve added a new feature that I’m calling Watchful Wednesdays. Maybe it’s more for me than for you because if I’m going to be writing about the ways God shows his love to me, I have to be watching for them. And when you’re watching you see so much more!
You might be wondering what my love for NCIS has to do with any of this. Well, this week, God gave me a Gibb’s type slap upside my head – because he loves me! You see I was in a funk, a serious worrying about the future kind of funk. The “what ifs” list in my head had reached epic proportions. While that might be normal for someone living with a husband who has two incurable yet treatable diseases it is not how I want to live my life. If I spend all my time camping out in the future I will miss the joy of today.
I had reached the point in my little pity party where I decided that it was time to stop the whining, because seriously, it’s exhausting. So I told myself, “You’ve got until tomorrow morning to feel sorry for yourself and then you need to change the tapes in your head.” It’s okay to feel bad, I reason, but wallowing in the pit for too long just gets stinky. It was right after my “get over yourself” proclamation that I heard a story on the radio about a woman who was afraid to go across a bridge suspended way above the ground. Her fear of heights was keeping her from enjoying the moment. Her husband, who wanted to lovingly help her, went out on the bridge about six feet in front of her. He then turned around and told her to keep her eyes on him as she walked forward and he walked backward. She realized that’s just what God does for us; he reminds us to keep our focus on him instead of whatever makes us afraid.
As I listened to that story I felt God’s loving little slap when he said, “Nancy, you’ve been focusing on the future instead of me. When you take your eyes off of me you’re a mess.” Right at that moment I apologized to God because when I’m busy focusing on anything other than him I’m basically saying, “I’ve got a better plan than you do Lord,” which I clearly don’t.
The great thing about God is that when he wants to teach you something he doesn’t just tell you once, he drives his point home with repetition. In the past week through sermons and Bible studies God has lovingly been reminding me to keep my focus on him.
At my small group this past week we revisited a subject that came up a few weeks ago, the time when Jesus, and Peter, walked on water. Matthew 14:22-33 tells the story of the disciples being in a boat out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when a storm comes up. The disciples are afraid and when they see what appears to be a ghost coming towards them they are even more scared. But that “ghost” was Jesus and he called out to them not to be afraid. And Peter (oh how I love Peter; sweet impulsive Peter) calls back, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus of course says, “Come.”
Peter then fixes his focus on Jesus, climbs out of the boat AND WALKS ON THE WATER TO JESUS! “But,” the Bible tells, “us when he saw the wind, he was afraid.” That seems to be the part of the verse that we focus on – that part where Peter starts to sink because he takes his gaze off of Christ. But you know what? Before he sank PETER WALKED ON WATER!” Whoa! That’s a miracle! Allow me to be so bold as to proclaim that THAT’S the kind of miracle that happens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY when we keep our focus on Jesus.
Is it easy to ALWAYS stay focused on Jesus? No. But I’m sure going to try, because that’s when miracles happen.
How about you? Are you waiting for a miracle? God has your back. Look Up!
Today I am linking up to another blog written by an encouraging woman of faith, Holley Gerth.