“I was like a stone lying in deep mud, but He that is mighty lifted me up and placed me on top of the wall” (St. Patrick).
Usually, I picture Jesus as he must have looked from Peter’s perspective. As Peter thrashed in the waves after his failed attempt to walk on water, he would have caught momentary glimpses of Jesus’ face looking down upon him.
A flash here—concern. A peek there—gentle amusement. Another flash—patience.
Eager and ready to help, Jesus would have leaned toward Peter, stretching as far as he could reach, arm straining, fingers spread wide, yearning to save, his voice calling Peter’s name.
His voice calls our names, too.
This is our God: prepared to grab us up, reaching, so we can grasp his ready hand.
God lifted me out of the mud and made me alive many years ago, but I keep forgetting who I am. Peter-like, I take my eyes off Jesus and look at the frightening circumstances, and then I teeter. Hurtling over the edge, I land face first: Blop! Right back into the grime! I sink in the murky wet, just like Peter.
When I’m overwhelmed:
- I forget who God is.
- I forget his promises.
- I forget that he already rescued me.
- I forget my identity in Christ.
- I forget that he has a hold on me.
Most of 2012 felt like this. Treading water, I fought to hold my head above the waves as I scanned the distant shore, overlooking the outstretched hand of Jesus. I kept going under. I kept struggling back to the surface. I worked so very, very hard!
I aimed at moving targets. I tried to please everyone. I pushed myself to the point of illness.
I forgot that the Creator God made evening, morning, and days of rest. He commands me to work sanely, to rest, and to recover. He says it is vain to work like a crazed, OCD-like workaholic. He pours out his blessings on me, even giving me rest and sleep.
This year I am resolved not to lose myself. I am resolved to remember who God is.
And so, with caution, I announce that progress is being made:
- After striving to get legalities secured since July, the final publishing house is now working on the permissions I need to get my bible studies up for sale at last! Sales will begin soon!
- Encouraging critiques in recent months have spurred me on toward powerful revisions of my story openings on all three of the novels I’m marketing. I’m getting good feedback!
- In February, I am registered to attend a premier writers’ conference. This was given to me as a gift!
Lord willing, I am moving forward. I am cautious, because past experience teaches me that I will be tempted to let go of Jesus’ hand, take my eyes off him, and grab the outstretched hand of one or the other of those opportunities. If I do, I will again forget who I am. Then I will fall off the wall and back into the mud once more.
But, even if I forget, God won’t let me go under. In Christ, he has a hold on my collar, keeping my head above the water, even when I forget to grasp his hand in return. He won’t let me get buried in the mud or lost in the waves. My rescue doesn’t depend upon me at all.
However, the journey is much more pleasant if I don’t spend so much time nearly drowning, if I don’t have to do so much wallowing in mucky darkness. And so, I am resolved. It seems so simple, but it’s a spiritual battle from front to end.
Lord, let my eyes fasten to your face alone, the One leaning toward me with saving hands.
“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT).
How about you: Are you keeping your eyes on Jesus? Are you remembering who you are?
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