In the last Trust Series post, I asked you to think about your greatest anxiety of the minute. That was cruel of me; I apologize, sort of. I don’t apologize all the way, because it was just plain necessary. But I do promise that today we won’t be dragging your worst fears out of the closet into broad daylight. They can stay hidden today.
But I do want you to picture your biggest challenge of the moment. What major hill are you climbing? For me, it’s parenting during the summer. I really want my kids to grow up and say, “Hey, my mom wasn’t perfect, but she loved me. We liked being together.”
But when my kids are parents themselves, they are probably growing to grow up and think, “Holy cow! I didn’t know summer was so fun! Why was Mom so dang crabby all the time?” I’ll tell you why–I stink at this! You know how some people can take a group of children and energetically lead them through the day? Camp counselors and elementary school teachers come to mind.
I ain’t no camp counselor, friends. I love, love when my kids are in school. Then I volunteer in their classses, and everyone has a schedule that works well. But back to you–what is your challenge of the moment? Perhaps you’re working through a rough time with your spouse, or your mother-in-law has moved into your house, or your neighbors are coming home from the bar and driving their lawn mower up and down the sidewalk at 3:00 a.m. We all face challenges that push us out of our comfort zone and demand more than we can offer alone. More patience, more faith, more grace, more shutting your mouth and not screaming, “Shut up and go to sleep, you drunk, lawn-mower-riding lunatics!” out the window.
But again, back to your life–you think up your challenge and let’s look at Matthew 14:25-31. Jesus was walking on the water, right out to the disciples in their itty-bitty boat. And Peter, our daring disciple, hollered out– “Hey, Jesus! If it’s really you, can I walk out to you?”
Let’s stop here for a minute and just think about this. What made Peter even ask this? If you are in the boat, and Jesus is coming to you, why would you ask to hop out and walk on the water too? The boat is comfortable. The water is wet. (And deep. And full of things that can eat a tasty disciple.) Why would Peter leave his comfort zone? I think it’s because he trusted Jesus enough to try something amazing with Him. But let’s pick up in verse 30, where it says:
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
When Peter was looking straight at Jesus, all was well. He was correctly focused on the One who could manage the sea, so how could he possibly be in danger? But when the wind distracted him, he began to realize that he had no business walking on the water. He got scared, he lost faith, and he started to sink.
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “Why did you doubt?”
Indeed! Why are we doubting? I firmly believe that God allows the circumstances in our lives–the good and bad, the easy and hard, the fun and not-fun. He knows our past, present, and future. And He isn’t sinking in the storm, so we won’t either. Because He won’t let us. His hand is right here, waiting to grab us by the soaking tunic.
So for the rest of the summer, I am going to focus on Jesus as He helps me parent these kids. I am not going to focus on the five weeks we have left (35 more days, 840 more hours, and 50,000 more minutes). I’m going to seek to bless my kids with some fun activities and patience.
Bored into a coma
As for you, focus on God as He takes you places you can’t go by yourself. Let me know what you try, and how it works out!
And if you have any solutions to the neighbor issue, let me know that too.