The Things We Fix Our Eyes On

So, one of the big things taking up the spot light in the news is the Coronavirus. As I write this, there was one confirmed case of the virus at our local hospital, and there have been actions taken to prepare the school system in our town to close for 2 weeks. That is a decision that will probably come in a couple days the latest, but I am guessing they are waiting to see if this thing is going to spread in our town before making a firm decision.

As I watch the news, and see what is being posted on social media, it can be really easy to fall into fear about this thing, and I know that so many people are.

Who do you go to as your source of truth?

I have learned over the years, is that the news and social media are not the best place to get accurate information. And I don’t want to base my idea of truth on what the media is saying. Although the virus has been on my mind, I know that I could fall into a spiral of fear, or to go to sources that will guide me to make good decisions for my family.

Over the past few days, and seeing as this virus has begun to spread, I wanted to know if this thing was being blown out of proportion, or if this was something to genuinely be concerned about.

And the best place I knew to get good advice, on this was doctors and nurses. We trust our doctors, and for us their diagnosis has always been spot on. They have never had a concern about something, that wasn’t a concern. So that is where I went. We knew who to go to, and we knew what to ask to give us the best chance of staying healthy. And it is with them that we received the most straight forward, and best advice.

But this virus is causing a lot of fear, and this virus isn’t the only thing invading the fear of some of my friends. I know someone is struggling to be excited about her pregnancy after a miscarriage. And another person who texted me today and told me “I just can’t handle life.” Sickness. Family struggles, wanting to keep your loved ones safe. My list can go on…

So what do you do? Do you fall into fear? Or rise in faith?

I always have to consider who I am going to for my source of truth, and strength. What am I keeping my focus on?

For me, focusing on the media can be like Peter focusing on the wind and the waves. And as he stepped out of the boat, the wind and the waves were there, and Peter knew it, and PETER was the one to tell Jesus to call him out of the boat, INTO the wind and waves, into the storm.

What are your wind and waves? I get it. It is easy for our focus to be on them. They are there, and they can be strong. They can beg, almost demand our attention. But the truth is, it was when Peter focused on them and their strength, he began to sink.

But he calls out to Jesus, and Jesus reaches out to Peter, and lifts him out of the water. Mind you, the wind and the waves are still there. He didn’t stop the storm at this point, He just showed His strength in the middle of the storm. He heard Peter’s cry as he was sinking, and reached out despite what was going on around them.

And then He calls out Peter for his lack of faith. Jesus didn’t feed into Peter’s fears. He fed into his lack of faith. And I bet Jesus would be grabbing some of our hands right now, lifting us out of the waters that are drowning us because we have taken our eyes off of Him, and asking us the same thing. Why did you doubt?

Is Jesus reaching out His hand to you right now?

the book of ruth (1)One of the things that I really like about Jesus is that He so often won’t stop what is going on around us. He isn’t there to make our lives easier. He isn’t there to just remove the storms from life.

But He will just show us who He is in the middle of it all. He has never asked us to do anything that He has not done Himself, and He will not start now. And I am not just talking about the walking on water in the middle of the storm thing.

Forgive? 
Love those who hurt you? 
Carry your cross?
Seek first the Kingdom of God?
Love as He has loved us?

Yes, He wants us to do these things despite what is going on around us, just like He called Peter to step out of the boat in the middle of wind and the waves. He wants us to keep our eyes on Him no matter how bad the storm is that is going on around us. And He tells us that we can have strength in, and we can endure all things because of HIM who gives us strength.

Where are you fixing your eyes?

Peter knew the wind and waves were there when he stepped out of the boat. Let me be real, it is easy for the wind and waves to grab our attention. It is easy for us to get distracted by them, and turn our eyes away from Jesus. And that is when we sink. We sink when the wind and waves distract us from keeping our eyes on Jesus.

I am not trying to downplay this virus, but I don’t want this virus to feed our fears, and overshadow our faith. I don’t want us to see how quickly this thing is spreading, while forgetting to remember that He goes before us. I am not telling you to not be aware of what is going on around you, but to be educated by getting your information from reliable sources. And when it comes to our faith, the best place we can run to for our strength is the loving arms of Jesus.

Jesus tells us to consider counting the cost of following Him. He wants us to be wise in what we do. He just doesn’t want us to succumb to fear, when we can endure all things in Him who gives us strength.

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