Have you ever had one of those days where you worried about all there was to worry about? One of those days where you thought about all that was wrong and could go wrong? One of those days where you dwelt on the struggle, wallowed in the hardship, consumed by the negativity? You know, one of those days … have you ever had one?
WELL LET ME ASSURE YOU OF ONE THING … TODAY WAS NOT GIVEN TO YOU TO MAKE IT ONE OF THOSE DAYS!
The purpose of this day of your life isn’t to worry. God’s plan for you today isn’t to stay stuck in this negative head space, anxious about all the things. Sometimes we can get ourselves in such a funk that we don’t know what may unfold, but we have predetermined to just be anxious about it. Did you know it is possible to instead be excited about what may unfold? That’s totally an option! Anxiety over the unknown is not mandatory here, you could exchange it for excitement instead.
Hey, I wonder how God is going to show up for you. I wonder what good plans he’s working together now. I wonder what blessings he has lined up and what wondrous works he’s planning on your behalf. I wonder how this could go RIGHT … like ridiculously right. I wonder how you could be at the right place at the right time by the design of the Almighty. I wonder how he is aligning miracles with your name on them, and you won’t even see it coming until you step right in the middle of it.
Lord, help us to shift our reaction to life from anxiety to excitement. Help us to see your hand at work in every detail, and trust that it is good. Help us to break the habit of worry, and exchange it for peace that fosters overwhelming joy.
This doesn’t all have to calm down for you to be peaceful. This doesn’t all have to work out before you exude joy. The offering of peace and joy is right here in the middle of the uncertainty, in the depths of the unknown, in the trows of the battle. Today’s happiness does not have to be sacrificed just because of the lack of perfection in circumstances. The majority of the days of our life will fall short of perfect, however every single one of them has the potential for living richly.
When our eye is on the storm, we miss the Jesus in our boat. Remember the disciples out on the water in the storm, and they go looking for Jesus? Where do they find him … sleeping. Peaceful, calm, not at all worried.
Scripture says it was a furious storm. Yeah, you ever had one of those in your life? Not just a regular storm, but a furious one. The kind that tears some crap apart in your life. The kind that rocks your whole world and turns you upside down. Yeah, it was one of those kind of storms. The waves swept over the boat and they were about to sink. They were going under, and Jesus is sleeping.
Sometimes that’s exactly how it feels. It feels like you’re going under and Jesus is sleeping on the job. You have him in your life, but what good is it doing? You’re sinking here and see no sign of rescue. So what do you do? Don’t hesitate to do exactly what the disciples did … WAKE UP JESUS!
When they woke him up in their panic Jesus he said to them in Matthew 8: 26 “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he rebuked the winds and the waves and it was completely calm.
Completely calm. Everything that was threatening them was immediately gone. It became quiet. They must have sat replaying his words “why are you so afraid?” What should they have done differently? Was it wrong to wake him? Were they not really in danger? Why were we so afraid?
I’ve often wondered why Jesus responded to their panic with this harshness. Was it wrong of them to wake him? Was it wrong of them to assume because the waves were taking over their boat that they were probably going to sink? Should they have just laid down in the storm and gone to sleep too?
What if this is simply about having a relationship with Jesus that he is your go to. He is the first thing you try. You don’t wait until the boat is sinking, you see the storm clouds and you wake him up. You don’t wallow in your worry and sit in the puddles of your endless scenarios of potential problems, you start talking to Jesus!
And when you talk to Jesus, the fear starts to fade. Why did Jesus respond to their panic with “You of little faith, why are you so afraid” … well could it be because he was available before it got so bad? It doesn’t take a whole lot of faith to come to God when he’s your only option. Faith is required when you still have viable options on your own. It takes faith to talk to Jesus about a few little clouds before the storm shows up to sink your boat. It takes faith to stay close to Jesus when it’s smooth sailing. It’s real easy to leave him behind when you don’t need him.
Jesus is here with you today, you can move forward with confidence. You can step into the potential of this day and leave the anxiety behind. You can choose peace over worry. You can choose excitement over every anxious thought that comes knocking on your door.
What if the clouds in the distance come hang right over your head … well, what if that distant threat never comes your way because God is directing it? What if the storm does come and hits you hard … well, what if this is your opportunity to see a miracle first hand as God makes it stop with one word? What if this storm doesn’t go away … well, if it doesn’t go away then there must be a purpose for which God is going to use it. What if your boat sinks … well, this may just be your opportunity to walk on water with Jesus.
I can’t promise you what’s going to happen in your storm, but I know this … you have the power to wake up Jesus! Wake him up with your prayers. Wake him up with your praise. And don’t wait until it gets to the point of disaster. Start talking to him now. But if disaster is already here and you wish you would have gotten him involved earlier … start talking now!
But remember, even in the storm, worry is optional. Anxiety does not have to be your primary emotion. Worst case scenarios do not have to run your mind. Peace is available here.
Matthew 6: 31-34 (The Passion Translation): “So then, forsake your worries! Doesn’t your heavenly Father already know the things you require. Above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.”