Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus
"Waiting on the Lord" Series
from Virtuous Daughters, July 2016~Volume 16, Number 4
I always have an anxious excitement when I am about to buy a plane ticket. You are planning for a fun trip, but at the same time you are spending a lot of money on something you can’t return. As I was doing this a few weeks ago, I was meticulously going through my itinerary to make sure I had everything right. Finally I clicked to finalize the purchase, but it came up with an ‘ERROR’ screen. It appeared that it hadn’t gone through, but it wouldn’t let me purchase the tickets when I tried again. I was feeling a little frustrated, because I really wanted to get them finalized before prices went up. With no other option, I waited until the next morning to try again. And lo, and behold, it ended up that the tickets were cheaper! As I sat there thanking the Lord, I felt like the Lord saying, “If I can orchestrate your circumstances to save you a little money, how much more can I provide for you in the area of marriage?’ I was humbled. ‘Oh. Yes, Lord. You are able to work out my future in Your perfect timing and in Your perfect way.’ God used a small daily experience to remind me of His goodness and care.
I recall that incident with gratefulness, because sometimes I struggle to keep my eyes on His goodness and I need a reminder of His faithfulness. There are many days when I rest content in where God has me and I am filled with joy in His plans. Yet, too many days I find myself with a downcast spirit. ‘Lord, when will You send the right person into my life? Who is he? He seemed like he was ‘the one’; why did that not work out?’ It is often when my vision for marriage and family takes center stage that I begin to feel discouraged. It is when my timing and my agenda become more dear to me than God’s agenda that I think faithless thoughts.
Discouragement, fear, and anxiety about the future are never a result of singleness or our current situation. Discouragement is the result of taking our eyes off Jesus. Fear is a result of losing sight of the goodness of our Savior. Do you remember Peter walking on water? When did he begin to fear? It was when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the trouble around him. “…And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried out saying, Lord! Save me! and immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught Him and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew 14:29-31; emphasis added).
On the outset, Peter was confident in Jesus’ ability to care for him; however, as soon as he lost focus of Jesus, he grew fearful. His worry was not because of the water, the wind, or the waves. Those things were all there when he took his first step onto the sea. His fear was a result of turning his focus to the circumstances around him. Sisters, we too will have discouragement and turmoil if we overthink our circumstances and see them through the lens of human perspective. The second we think that God does not have His hand in our circumstances we will sink, just as Peter began sinking.
But yet, we see that as Peter is sinking in fear and doubt, He cries out to His Lord. Immediately Jesus reaches out to catch him. Our Lord is so faithful. Do you know that if you cry out to Jesus He will meet you in your time of need? Even in your less-than-faithful moments, He will reach out to you with His gentle words and reassuring promises. But in order to feel His touch, you must turn your focus back to Him. Peter did not flail around in the water yelling out for a life jacket. In that moment, he returned his focus to Jesus and he immediately found the mercy of God.
But how can we apply this to our single years and our visions for a family? How do we go from fear to faith? When Prince Charming is nowhere to be found, how do we rest in God’s sovereignty? When the one we hoped for marries another, how can we have a thankful heart? When that person asks why we are not dating, how can we respond with genuine love and joy? The key to living in faith is found in realizing the goodness of our Lord. When we purpose to focus on God’s character, we will lose sight of the seemingly troubling circumstances around us. If Peter’s only thought was the character of God, he would not have lost faith. It is hard to worry over the future when meditating on God’s perfect wisdom and ways. It is not easy to pout over my problems, when I know that God works all things together for good to them that love Him. In short, the key to walking in faith through singleness (and every other stage of life) is saturating our minds and hearts with an understanding of Who God is. This is done through many ways, and it requires effort and purposeful seeking. Here are several ways that, by the Lord’s grace, I try to implement this into my life:
If we fix our gaze on our Lord, we can face any situation with faith and peace. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever. For in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).Whether you are 15 or 50, God has His loving eye on you. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).
If you are discouraged, look to Jesus and remember His goodness and wisdom. In my story above about getting a better airline ticket, it wasn’t because the man of my dreams proposed, that I knew the goodness of God. It was when God reminded me of His intimate care that I felt content. It didn’t take the changing of my circumstances to bring peace, just an understanding of the character of the God I serve. Today I encourage you to come along the journey with me in making a diligent effort to know the character of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we do, we will find that the worries of this life will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
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