Getting Our Eyes Off The Waves & Onto Jesus
Last week some junior highs lead us in worship during our regular Thursday gathering. It was beautiful to see these young hearts on fire for God, using their talents to bring Him glory. These kids know the importance of worship. Sometimes I think they understand worship better than I do. While talking about worship, Pastor Rob simplified it as telling God you think what He’s doing is cool. Maybe that seems too simple, but I found it refreshing. Taking the time to tell God that the morning sunrise was beautiful is worship. Thanking him for allowing you to bump into an old friend at the grocery store, or telling Him you’re glad He’s there with you in the midst of a long day, these things, as small as they are, are all acts of worship. Worship is setting apart the time to tell God what you think, to tell him that you see what He’s doing and you think it’s cool. It’s taking your eyes off the busyness of everyday life and finding God there.
This is something God’s been teaching me a lot about lately. To worship Him when everything is going well is easy, but to worship when things begin to fall apart, that’s a little more difficult. When questions are thrown at me like, “Will you still come to me when your world is falling apart, or “Will you still believe that I am good, even when your situations aren’t?” I’m ashamed to admit that my answer hasn’t always been yes. When situations come along, sometimes I don’t want to fall back on God in worship. I feel discouraged and overwhelmed. At these times my eyes are on my situation, not on my God.
I think of Matthew 14, when Jesus tells Peter to step out of the boat. He does, and guess what, he can walk on the water. His eyes are fixed on Jesus and the impossible takes place. It’s when he begins to look below at the waves that Peter begins to sink. In my life, it’s the times that I take my eyes off Jesus that I feel myself beginning to sink. Worship is getting our eyes off of those waves and onto Jesus.
How about in Act 16 when Paul and Silas are imprisoned? I don’t think I will ever fully understand how Paul and Silas turned to worship after being thrown into prison. I know if I was unjustly tossed into prison I would probably either be curled up in the corner crying, or yelling at God exclaiming, “How dare you let this happen to me!” Really, I wouldn’t be proud of either response. So how is it that Paul and Silas turned to singing instead of screaming? I think they understood that getting upset about it wasn’t going to get them out of jail anyways. Having a pity party wasn’t going to save them. Even though they weren’t where they wanted to be, they still knew that God was in control. They realized that even though their situation was not ideal, God was bigger than Roman soldiers and prison bars.
Circumstances can be bad, but no matter what God is still good. And he works things together for our good. Later on in the story, the prison guard and his family were saved because of Paul and Silas being imprisoned. Sometimes we can’t see that plan in the midst of our pain. But don’t mistake it; God has a plan far better than anything we can see. With that in mind, what can we do when the waves seem to be overwhelming us? We keep our eyes on Jesus. We worship.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” – Habakkuk 3:17-18
When dreams die or sickness invades, when the trees aren’t budding and the crops are failing, I pray that it would always be the fallback position of my heart to turn to God, look into his eyes and say, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord”.