We are a distracted bunch. We need to be continually drawn back or our minds wander. We need to be entertained and “spoon fed life” like infants even though we should be mature. We want the Cliff Notes version of not only books but everything. We want it all to come quickly and with minimal engagement on our part, so we can do the other stuff we want to do. We also tend to not commit in case something better comes along.
When I was in my first college finance class I learned about ROI, Return On Investment. In a nutshell, it was a fancy way of saying – is it worth it? Are there things in our lives that we should stick with no matter what? What will always give you what you need in the end? What is worth the focus or the time or the energy?
As you would probably expect from me, I would say all the previous words and questions lead us to what God alone can provide. I’m talking about the deep things in life we need like peace and joy that can transcend our circumstances. I believe this to be true, but this week I have also seen once again that I often struggle with this single-mindedness that God wants me to live my days possessing. When I take my mind off my Savior and God’s way, I end up with stress and anxiety. I need to face the hard truth that at times I choose not to believe God is enough. OUCH!
In any given week my soul can be in turmoil the same way Peter’s was when he took his eyes off Jesus while walking on the water during a storm recorded in Matthew 14.
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
It is very easy for me to see the “storm and wind” of finances, relationships and so many other things that draw my attention away from Jesus. The anxiety and stress mount and I find myself sinking. Joy and peace are lost as the waves threaten to take me under. I need to see Jesus like Peter did. I reach out and there He is – always has been – to take my hand and deal with the storms in my life. He comes to me in His power, His truth and His overwhelming grace. Jesus speaks to me, “Nick, don’t doubt and don’t look elsewhere for what I alone can give you!”
Jesus and all that comes with Him is what gives everything its proper value. The Good News of the Advent season is that Jesus has come as the Savior and the Light of the World. He brings the joy and peace that conquers all! Look to Him and you will truly see the rest of the world rightly as well.
In Christ Alone,
Pastor Nick Mundis