Tag Archives: Hebrews

I’ve Got This Sinking Feeling

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BOAT ON THE SEA

But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ Matthew 14:30

I know I am weak. Weak-hearted. Weak-minded. Weak-bodied. Oh, I’m sure I have my moments of strength just like everyone else, but I’m mostly just weak. Sometimes I’m okay with this. Other times, I get super frustrated (this is what I say to my kids so they’ll understand that I’m REALLY frustrated and not mad).

I get easily discouraged at times. This usually happens when things aren’t going my way, and though these times aren’t frequent, it’s enough to make me wilt. For example, when I play tennis, I don’t try as hard and my resolve to win weakens when I’m not hitting my shots well (and this happens to be quite frequent). Any great tennis player has learned that you not only need to be physically fit, but you also have to be mentally fit. You’ve got to learn to deal with the ups and downs. And though you have a perfect game as far as shots are concerned, you could still lose the whole match because you crumble under pressure. Weak-minded.

Then there are those times when I start my day with a cup of spilled coffee all over my workbook and with a child that is bent on doing anything opposite from what I say. Every moment after that seems to be one wrong turn after another. My spirit weakens. My lip quivers. I’m already throwing in the towel for the day. Weak-hearted.

I’ve got my eyes on the waves instead of on the One who called me out onto the waters (something which, like Peter, I requested of Him).

I wish I could be more consistently focused on Him in these fragile moments. I don’t want to be of little faith (Matthew 14:31), “incredulous, lacking confidence — in Christ” (from Strong’s). Trusting in the “Son of God” (v. 33) is truly a moment by moment choice. Jesus asks Peter why he doubted, and because I know my Jesus is not one who shames us, I think He asked it because He wanted to encourage Peter to trust Him. Jesus encourages us to have faith in Him because He is faithful. He is completely capable. It’s implicit in His question that He can be trusted. And why? Because His heart is good.

I would like to say that my struggle is not in trusting Him because I know with all my heart that He can be trusted. I like to think that my struggle is a problem of letting go and surrendering to Him. I always want to try to do it myself. But this is exactly a problem of faith. The problem is, I think that I can handle the situation better than Him. Well, that’s still an issue of questioning whether He can be trusted with the things of this life. He is more than able.

In those moments of panic and anxiety, I want to fix my eyes on the Author and Perfecter of my FAITH who can always and will always strengthen my faith in Him when I call out to Him (Hebrews 12:2). May I throw off every hindrance, and run the race set before me (Hebrews 12:1), intent on trusting Him during the moments of weakness. I think I’ll find that the weak moments get fewer because in my weakness, His power is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9). I can face the day knowing that I’m an overcomer and not defeated by the things of the world.

I’ll be able to stare hard at the waves and watch them shrink as I step into the boat with my Savior. All glory to Him.

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Feeling Like a Foreigner

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hebrews11_13

I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to this. This place still does not feel like home. After only four months, I suppose this may be normal, but there’s something that keeps me very much unsettled.

Maybe it’s that I’m not in my own home yet. (Could the end of March take any longer??)

Maybe it’s that we’re still not completely settled into a church yet.

Maybe it’s that we haven’t gotten the chance to make friends yet.

Or maybe I’m just getting a glimpse of what we should feel like as God’s children living in a place that’s really not meant to be our home.

There’s definitely something about moving that can give you a perspective for eternity. In the deepest parts of my heart, I really don’t want to ever be comfortable in this place as long as I live. If I start feeling too comfortable, perhaps something is wrong. Maybe not wrong…but not completely right.

I’m thinking that my desire to be with Christ in heaven should make this earthly home pale in comparison. {Lord, may I never be too easily satisfied with what this world offers…} We just read from Philippians this Sunday about Paul being conflicted in himself about being with Christ or remaining on the earth with those whom he’s been able to teach (1:12-30). He said in v. 21,

For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

It’s so short yet so profound. Now there’s a man who knows where his citizenship lies. Later in Philippians 3:20 Paul talks about our citizenship being in heaven and “from it we await our Savior…”.

I’m telling you, there’s nothing like being in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by unfamiliar people that makes you really long to be with what’s familiar – Jesus.

Even the writer of Hebrews addresses this in the famous “hall of faith” chapter (11:13-16):

13 These [Old Testament believers] all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.”

Sigh.

I’m so beyond grateful that He is my home.

When I’m with Him, I’m home. No more feeling like a foreigner. No more feeling unsettled in the unfamiliar. His Word gives me hope as I look forward to that home He’s preparing for me. In the meantime, I can look to Him and sink into those familiar arms, trusting that anything from Him is better than anything here.

The Bible – it’s alive!

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You’ve probably heard the passage:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

And then you’ve probably wondered, “what exactly does it mean that the Bible is living? active?”

Me too, actually.

Have you ever read a passage (let’s say from Philippians), and you were struck by a verse, right to the heart, and at that moment, it was the most profound thing you’d ever read? But then you go back to that same passage months later, or even a year after your initial reading, and suddenly, you’re struck again but in a completely different way? THAT is what I’m talking about. It is alive! This is possibly the best news ever.

Here’s the reason why… Haven’t you ever been in a place in which you were desperate to encounter God or receive encouragement from His word or get help for a particular sin? Maybe you read your daily Bible reading, and it just didn’t do anything for you. You begin to think, “what’s wrong with me that I don’t get anything out of this Bible?” But then, you keep reading…and reading. And suddenly you begin to experience what the writer of Hebrews talked about. It pierces your soul. It discerns your thoughts. You start to change. It’s alive in you.

There is never a moment in which God’s word takes a break from working in your heart and mind. It is ACTIVE. Just when you begin to despair over a life circumstance or a particular sin that you can’t seem to overcome, His word penetrates those places of greatest need and you walk away changed. 

God so desires for you to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He uses His own words to break up the rough soil in our hearts and plants His truth there. It’s not just words on a page. They are words that have the power to transform our very lives.