By Shelly Esser
I was recently having one of those sinking low kind of days. You know a day when the whole weight of the world seems to be falling on your shoulders where everywhere you look appears to be a mountain you have to somehow climb over? Like the cares of the world just continue to barge into your life weighing your already weary spirit down lower? I think you get the point. Ever feel that way?
In the middle of that kind of day, a friend sent me an encouraging email – you know one of those at “just the right moment” ones. It was clearly a God thing. Through it she helped me regain my perspective. She was enjoying some jam time on her MP3 over the lunch hour with the well-known song “We Shall Behold Him” and told me she was thinking about standing on her desk at work and belting it out with the singer. (I sure would have loved to have seen that!) Not only did that vision put a smile on my sinking low face, but God reminded me so powerfully that that’s what it’s all about. In the middle of our sinking low kind of days, we need to BEHOLD HIM. Especially on those days. All this down here is so temporary anyway!
Instead, I had been feeling much like the scared and anxious disciples out on the lake in that little boat feeling like at any moment they were going to sink because of the approaching fierce winds they had no control over. Then what happens? Jesus comes along walking to them on the water and tries to reassure them that it’s Him. (They thought they were seeing a ghost!) But Jesus immediately says to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matt. 14:28). In other words, see Me! Focus on Me! Behold Me! Put your attention where it needs to be! It is I!
Peter then says if it’s really you tell me to come to you on the water so Jesus tells him to come. “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’” (Matt. 14:29-33). And finally for the first time, they no longer see the bigness of their problems – their sinking low feelings were being washed away. Instead they BEHOLD HIM – “truly you are the Son of God”! All they see is Jesus face-to-face in all of His glory at that moment and that’s all they were supposed to see all along.
Suddenly, my heart didn’t feel so heavy anymore. The mountain didn’t look so big, and the sinking low feeling I had been carrying all day was starting to subside. I needed to see, to take notice, to behold the Son of God in my circumstances today so I could hold on. Instead, I was seeing only the circumstances and within moments I began to sink. Brenda Warner says, “You can’t trust that bad things will never happen to you. The one thing you can trust is that regardless of your circumstances, God will never change. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will be there in the good times and the bad and as long as you don’t take your eyes off of Him, you will get through whatever you are dealing with, even if, at the time, it feels impossible.”
Why does it take us so long to learn the art of keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus? It’s so much easier to behold all the problems in my life instead of Jesus – the problem-solver and storm- calmer. Like the disciples, I continue to doubt, I continue to fear, I continue to need proof that Jesus is really here with me, that He hasn’t abandoned me. Every single time I’m faced with a fierce wind it’s as if I have to relearn it all over again. And yet, God is so patient with me, using a crazy friend – who by the way is walking through her own hard stuff – to remind me to take time out to dance and sing on my desk (at least in my heart) and Behold Him! He is always standing by reaching out His hand ready to catch me in my sinking low kind of days if only I will Behold Him. Where do you need to Behold Him today?