Buoyant in Turbulent Times

Buoyant in Turbulent Times | Doug Nuenke | Floating lifebuoy on a stormy sea.

The stories of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee have always touched my heart, but in recent weeks, I’ve been struck by the promise of buoyancy amid stormy waters. The tidal waves of bad news, changed plans, and health concerns are enough to drown anyone in fear and despair right now. But isn’t it remarkable that Jesus not only walked upon the waters, but He invited His disciples to do the same?

The story of Peter walking on water reminds us of the importance of keeping our eyes rightly focused.

…but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. … When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified …But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid…” 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!” (Matthew 14:24-30 NIV)

As disciples of Jesus, our hearts are vulnerable to where we fix our gaze. Will I fixate on the circumstances surrounding me? On my sense of preparedness or control? Or will I gaze on the One who commands the wind and the waves? The One who is worthy of our attention.

Like Peter, we are invited to come toward Jesus with our eyes fixed on Him. When the world around us is crashing down, Jesus calls us to a place above the water. He draws us to Himself and offers peace and security that defies the laws of circumstance (Philippians 4:4-7).

I’m reminded of God’s promises to his people in Isaiah 43:2,3

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (NIV).

In the chaos of our lives and emotions, Jesus still reaches out to lift us atop the waves. He doesn’t just save us from drowning, he rescues us into the secure comfort of His presence.

The critical decision that faces us is “where” we fix our eyes. When we lock eyes with the One who walks upon the waters, he infuses us with peace and courage amidst uncertainty. He not only secures our survival, he restores our soul (Psalm 23:3).

As we adhere to the guidance of national leaders and medical experts, let’s stay present in our relationships and receive help in the gaze of Jesus. May we rise as the people of God who do not drown in choppy waters, but who walk in the same ways Jesus did.

Buoyant in Turbulent Times | Doug Nuenke | Floating lifebuoy on a stormy sea.

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