Look Up

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed to go from bad to worse? You get to a point where you think, well at least nothing else can happen now… and then it does?!

I had one of those moments this year - it got to a point where I was laughing out loud at how ridiculous it seemed, and then there was a moment when I just fell on my face before the Lord and cried because I felt like I couldn’t take another hit and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t able to catch a break. As I was crying out to Him, I heard the faintest whisper say “Remember who I am. I am Peace. I am Love. I am protecting you, even though you can’t see it. Remember how I have constantly shown up for you. It’s not in my nature to let you sink. Remember me. Stop looking at the storm, look at me. I’m not worried about what’s happening, take my hand in the middle of your mess and receive my peace.”
 
I know what it feels like to be worried… and I am sure many of you are worried about a number of things right in this very moment… but y’all… GOD IS NOT WORRIED! He is the one in control and He knows the outcome of it all. If you want to understand what I am describing, look at the moment when Jesus calmed the storm in the sea while the disciples were on the boat freaking out.

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said, “teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” - Mark 4:37-39
 
In this situation, the disciples actually thought that they were going to drown and they were all in extreme panic mode.  Meanwhile, Jesus was snoozing away, resting His body and mind, then He simply stood up and calmed everything with 3 words.

I don’t know about you, but next time I face a difficult situation I would much rather experience rest like Jesus than the chaos and fear the disciples were experiencing. However, I usually find myself falling in the category of the disciples. It’s just so much easier to look at the crazy waves swirling around you. Right? But at what cost?
 
Just because it’s easier, doesn’t mean you feel more joy, peace, or freedom; the disciples surely didn’t experience those things at that moment. They actually experienced more fear and more anxiety. So, which do you think is better? Giving in and looking at the chaos only to feel destructive emotions, OR  fighting to see God in the midst of it, trusting Him to take care of you, and experiencing peace and stillness? If you answered that question with the latter that might bring you to the question “well even if I want it, how do I tangibly find peace when my current circumstances are out of my control?”

Let’s be honest for a sec… we are all going to have moments when we feel that our circumstances are crazy and out of control. It’s kinda part of the deal. Jesus said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
 
We live in a fallen world and chaos is all around us, kind of depressing, I know… except that it isn’t at all because we have access to ultimate peace through the one who literally OVERCAME all of the darkness in this world!

The next time you find yourself in one of those seemingly never-ending circumstances, try to shift your perspective. It’s all about rewiring your mind and making it your natural response to look to Jesus instead of the waves. When your go-to is Jesus and not the problem it will become your nature to cling to peace instead of worry. One of the easiest ways for me to do this in my own brain is by physically looking up when the world around me becomes too overwhelming. When I look up I physically cannot see what is around me which gives me space to reconnect to God and remember that His power is limitless. It’s really simple and kind of silly, but it is exactly what I need to snap myself back into the mindset that God is moving and I don’t have to give in to the chaos.

(Don’t be afraid to have silly tools that bring you back into alignment with God’s perspective - it’s honestly super fun because it gets to be a little inside secret between you and God.)
 
So, I challenge you to fix your eyes on Jesus this week, even when it’s hard. Declare truth over yourself, even when you don’t want to - speaking truth out loud releases more power to shift atmospheres than you may realize. Ask God to show you where He is in the midst of your storm, ask Him what He is doing. Connect with Him. He is for you, and He is protecting you. He overcame this world so that He could personally guide you through every storm you will face. Peace gets to be yours!

Author | Tori Kramer
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