The #1 thing that will take you down.

September 11, 2018


When you are stressed and it just doesn't feel like it's letting up,

  • you've done everything you know to do, and
  • you start to feel frantic, when the worry rolls in
  • you start to grab at whatever is around to make it ok,
  • you know it's time to STOP.
  •  

CELEBRATE like crazy how hard you've worked,

  • how far you've come,
  • how much progress you've made,
  • how much effort you've given,
  • how focused you've stayed,
  • how much perseverance you've shown.

And RELEASE the results to God.

The timing,

  • the way it all works out,
  • the risks
  • the what ifs
  • the doubts
  • the fears
  • all of it.

RELEASE IT.  And EXHALE.

While you do, consider this familiar story a different way:

When Peter got out of the boat to walk to Jesus, he had to GET OUT OF THE BOAT!

Eleven disciples didn't even do that. Peter gets to celebrate that he stepped out of the boat.  He believed and acted. But then all he could do was to stay focused and step, step, step.

There was absolutely nothing about what he was doing that kept him up on top of the water.  That was all Jesus. And faith became most necessary when he saw all the turbulence and it was entirely out of his control to make it go away.

I'm sure he would have loved for the waves to be still.  But they weren't. I'm sure he would have enjoyed it if the wind had suddenly stilled itself, but that wasn't the lesson.

His focus had to remain singly on Jesus ability to keep him walking across the top of that water.  It probably didn't make sense while he was doing it either.

"How am I actually doing this? It makes NO sense!"

There was no moment for wondering what-if, or considering back up plans, or thinking quickly that perhaps those disciples should have thrown him a rope so he could be hauled back in case he began to sink.

Nope.

It was all just him, the water, the waves, and Jesus.

He was fully committed.  He was either going to walk on water or drown, but either way he did what Jesus told him.

Of course, we know that Peter became afraid and began to sink.  But isn't that just like what we do?

We have a  solid plan- following Jesus- with no back up.  But the second we allow doubt to creep in, that's the moment when it's the most dangerous for us.

In a sense, we sink ourselves because we choose doubt. It's actually a sneaky way we come back around to thinking that any of this life and the results are up to us.  It's a back door to the control we so desperately cling to. Of course the doubt becomes present because we immediately realize that we don't have a clue about how this can all work.

The doubt comes because we've forgotten that we don't have to know how it all works or how long it will take, or exactly how God will take us through.

So when you are in the moment of stress and feel like you are getting pretty beat up by the turbulence of life, just remember, there's only one thing that's going to take you down: control.

Choose RELEASE.

Choose FOCUS on Jesus.

He's got this.

Choose JOY that you don't have to do the work to figure it out.

Get excited that you got out of the boat and you get to walk on water!!!  You get to WALK ON THE TOP OF THE STINKIN' WATER!

Then keep your eyes on the Sovereign Author of the Universe and expect that He's going to take care of you like He said he would!

- Mary Aldrich

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Living in fear and anxiety is a habit. Just like we can make new choices to not chew on our fingernails, we can choose to live in joy and freedom.
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