The Art of Looking Up
I have an irrational fear of fish. Don’t ask me why! That’s partly why the story in Matthew 14 freaks me out!
It’s late at night, the disciples are in a boat and all of a suddenly Jesus is walking on the water! That’s not all. Jesus calls Peter to walk on water towards Him. So Peter jumps out, fixes his eyes on Jesus and starts to walk on the water too (as you would).
Everything is fine…until Peter notices the wind. As Peter takes his eyes of Jesus, he starts to notice his circumstance. He sees the windy storm, the fish nipping at his feet, the choppy waves and the distance to Jesus…and starts to sink. Well, I know I would’ve sunk the second I saw the fish!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of his glory and grace.
Sometimes, our circumstances can be difficult. Sometimes they can be downright ugly. It feels like we’re sinking, like our fears are nipping at our feet, like we’re trapped.
But it’s interesting that this time, Jesus didn’t stop the wind. Nor did He roll out a pretty red carpet for Peter. Jesus didn’t fix the circumstances but he did call Peter to walk above the circumstances. The important thing to realize is by looking up at Jesus, Peter had the ability to make it all the way. But he chose to focus on his circumstances. It was only then that he started sinking.
Maybe the position you find yourself in today is tough but Jesus calls us to look above it all. Jesus says that it’s going to be okay.
If you’ve ever been rock-climbing, you’d know that looking up spurs you forward. Looking up gets you to the finish line. But looking down paralyses you. Your circumstance becomes your fear and you feel stuck…trapped.
Maybe that’s why they say; “Don’t look down.”
Maybe that’s what Jesus is saying too.
Look up. Look up. Look up.
Loving Father, I release all the problems, pains, and fears in my circumstances today. I look to you. Teach me to make it my first instinct to look up at you whenever hard times come. Amen.
Questions: As this new year begins, are you looking up or down? Is your focus on Jesus or your circumstances?