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Last updated 5/1/2008 at Noon



“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...” (Hebrews 12:2)

After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and begin listening for what he was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her – and many others around the world. The result was a marvelous devotional entitled Jesus Calling. Each day is written as if Jesus Himself were speaking to you. It’s the favorite way for Terri, my wife, to begin each morning.

The other day, feeling overwhelmed by a thousand nagging responsibilities, I lobbed some pretty dramatic “Woe is Me’s” in Terri’s general direction (as I’m wont to do!). She listened intently, but instead of just sympathizing with me as I cried in my Pepsi, she asked me to reflect on the “reading for the day” from Sarah’s devotional. What I read that day literally moved me out of darkness and into Light, and transformed my whole perspective for the rest of the day. Here’s what I read:

“My face is shining upon you, beaming out Peace that transcends understanding. You are surrounded by a sea of problems, but you are face-to-Face with Me, your Peace. As long as you focus on Me, you are safe. If you gaze too long at the myriad problems around you, you will sink under the weight of your burdens. When you start to sink, simply call out ‘Help me, Jesus!’ and I will lift you up.

“The closer you live to Me, the safer you are. Circumstances around you are undulating, and there are treacherous-looking waves in the distance. Fix your eyes on Me, the One who never changes. By the time those waves reach you, they will have shrunk to proportions of My design. I am always beside you, helping you face today’s waves. The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future! Stay close to Me.”

Wow! “Laugh at the future,” huh? Really? I know all about what it means to “worry” about the future … or to “reflect” on the future … or even to “plan” for the future … but to laugh at the future? What in the world does that mean? What must that be like to have such peace and confidence in God … no matter what the day might bring?

I love the story about the huge storm that threatened to swamp Jesus and his disciples as they sailed across the lake. “They were in great danger,” the Bible says (Luke 8:23). But what was Jesus doing during this whole ordeal? Believe it or not, he was sleeping (8:22). The disciples actually have to wake him up, as they cried out, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” Jesus “got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm” (v. 24) –just like Jesus’ own spirit! And Jesus looked at their astonished faces and said, “Where is your faith?”

True faith is all about focus. I invite you to consider: What am I fixing my eyes on lately … and who am I becoming as a result? What is the fruit of my focus? Am I becoming more fearful, cynical, judgmental, or suspicious? Or, is my attitude and outlook becoming more and more like Christ’s … full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? May we be filled with a finely-focused faith as we set our sails to catch the wind of God’s Holy Spirit and laugh our way into the future He has prepared for us!

 

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