Our televisions, radios, and newspapers inundate us with reports of war, murder, theft, or some other distressing news. It seems that everywhere we turn; there is someone who is hurting. In fact, our lives seem to be a series of storms – we are either entering a storm, we are in the midst of a storm, or we are just coming out of a storm. Maybe we are struggling with the death of a loved one, the loss of a career, the loss of dreams unfilled, the diagnosis of a fatal illness, loneliness or any number of life’s challenges.
The words of a Helen Howarth Lemmel song have echoed through my mind this week as I have wrestled with issues in my life and in the lives of family and friends. Maybe you will recognize the words of this beautiful chorus –
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.
These words always remind me of the source of my strength and re-energize my faith in Jesus as I look to Him. Isn’t it amazing? When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, either in scripture or in prayer, our perception of the things of life that cause us sorrow and distress, become less important. When we look at burdens through the eyes of the Holy Spirit we find that He understands our sorrow. We still may not understand why things happen or don’t happen in our lives, but we can be assured that God understands and that He will strengthen us, just as He strengthened Jesus. If we have accepted Jesus as Lord, we have received His grace and have experienced the light of His Glory through the Holy Spirit. Just as He gave Jesus strength to endure the pain and suffering of His death for our sins on the cross, He gives us strength to go on. Through His Holy Spirit we are granted an eternal perspective that gives us light and hope, when life may seem so dark, so lost.
The more intimate our relationship with Jesus, the more we learn of His ways. The more we learn of Jesus’ ways, the more we grow in our discernment of the Holy Spirit’s leading and the easier it is to see that our God is a constant and faithful God. He is the God of the creation who created the universe, the stars, the moon, and each of us. He is the same constant and faithful God today as He was in the days of Abraham or when the children of Israel walked across a dry sea to flee the Egyptians. He is the same faithful God that raised Jesus from the dead. We need only look into the eyes of a new-born baby, or feel the wind blow across our face, or see any of the many miracles of nature to know that there is a God and that there is an order even when life seems to be in total disarray. It is then that we realize that the world still spins, the birds still sing, the plants still grow, the wildflowers still bloom, the wind still blows and we still have air to breathe – God is in control – It is then that we can go on. It is then, that we can find renewed strength and faith, and even Joy in the midst of our storms.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:2-3 The Message
My Prayer –
Awesome God, it is my prayer that Your strength, Your comfort will extend to all who may read this who are in the midst of a storm in their life. May they bask in the light of Your glory, may they experience Your grace, may their burdens grow light as they seek your Son, Jesus. Give each of them renewed hope, re-energized faith and peace that passeth all understanding.
In Jesus’ Name,