“I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.”
One day I found myself in a bit of a quandary. After dropping one of my daughters off on her college campus I had to make the decision whether I would jump back on the highway or take the back road. The dilemma: the highway was very congested and moving extremely slow and the back road took longer. I had to be somewhere in an allotted amount of time and wanted to get there as quickly as possible.
Sending up a silent prayer for wisdom I proceeded back onto the highway only to be caught in practically stand-still traffic. Quickly I jumped off the first exit and proceeded to take the back road. Instead of allowing the usual frustration to set in of being sent off course, a thought kept niggling my mind: Enjoy the Ride. The weather was crisp on that first full day of Fall, a few leaves were beginning to change. The “rushing to get where I needed to” thought kept trying to invade this peaceful drive, but the thought would come again: Enjoy the Ride.
Sometimes plans going awry but being taken off course doesn’t have to be frustrating. Sometimes I believe it’s God’s way of telling us to enjoy the journey of life a little more. Schedules are always going to be there but sometimes we have to let go and enjoy the ride. Give it to God and trust Him to lead you to your destination and sit back and enjoy.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path,” Proverbs 3:5-6
In the measure of mess seen in the world, uncertainty has a way of tossing one about. As waves lifting the vessel to scary heights only to crash back down again are the problems many faces daily. Circumstances that provoke fear instead of inspiring faith.
The catch all of it is whatever side one spends the most thought in, it has the strongest hold on that life. If it is one faith, then with one foot in front of the other one will march forward into depths unknown without regard to the thrashing swells of the sea. But if it is in fear, the move forward becomes halted. Continuing to sail to the other side no longer seems a viable option, thus one cries out as the disciples did, “Master, carest thou not that we perish,” (Mark 4:38)?
Of course, He cares. He loves you. You are His and He is riding in the boat of life with you. He has never abandoned you. He has never forsaken you. People are the ones who have allowed the fear and uncertainty around to obscure their view of the Savior.
Refocus on Him. Imagine His protection covering you as the most indomitable shield. Thus He is at the helm of your life, speaking, “Peace, be still,” (Mark 4:39). What comfort that brings to the tossed soul knowing He still has it all in His hands.
So, “Why are ye so fearful,” (Mark 4:40)?
Fearfulness comes from lack of belief. The storms want us to see things through the lens of the ferocious wind-tossed seas, but Jesus wants us to see them as being subdued already under His dominion and authority. He wants His people to believe more in the promises of His word than the fearsomeness of the waves.
In Him we are safe, secured, and loved. Therefore, as the psalmist reminds us:
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident,” (Psalm 27:1-3).
In other words, we are safe in Him!
In a baseball game, safe means one has arrived at the base untouched and unhindered. I can’t promise you that life will never touch you in an attempt to knock you out of the running. But, riding with Jesus you can still arrive safe.