Look at Me
Have you ever looked into another person's eyes for a full minute? If it's someone you don't know very well, it feels awkward and embarrassing, as well as evoking a sense of vulnerability. But if it's someone you know well, it becomes sweet and intimate, a special form of communication others don't understand.
Lately, God has been telling me, "Look at Me." Over and over, He brings my gaze back to Him. I am learning that - no matter the situation - the source of my strength, hope, and joy is in looking to Him. He's been teaching me that keeping my eyes on Him is the only way to deepen my walk with Him.
Peter learned this lesson one day as he and the other disciples were in a boat on a lake. Matthew 14: 22-34 tells us Jesus came to join the disciples, walking on the water! The disciples were terrified to see Him walking toward them, and thought it was a ghost! Jesus, knowing their fear, assured them, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." But Peter - always so audacious - wanted proof. "Lord, if its You, tell me to come to You on the water." So Jesus did just that. And Peter climbed out of the boat and began walking to Him. But like so many of us, he became distracted by the winds and waves, taking his eyes off Jesus. He began to sink into the water and called to Jesus in fear. Jesus reached out His hand and saved Peter.
There was only one reason Peter began to sink into the water - he took his eyes off of Jesus and allowed fear and doubt to creep in. And don't we do the very same thing? We spend time in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, then turn our eyes back to our job, our budget, our worries, our fears. Doubt begins to cloud our vision, allowing the fear of failure, or of not being "enough", to pull us under. We decide we know best, and march off to carry out our plans without looking to Him. We covet things and judge people, we hide behind a façade, or we give up completely and stay in the boat.
God is reminding me, over and over again, in things big and small, to look at Him. When I feel like my life is not going where I thought and planned it to go, He says "look at Me!" When I become distressed because I lose half a pound instead of three, He says "look at Me!" When I worry about the future or, worse, about the past, He says "look at Me!" And when I do, peace floods in. He is lovingly teaching me that by look at Him, I see and feel His love in ways I've never experienced before. And that love gives me hope, founded on His promises and lived out daily in His gaze. When I keep my focus on Him, I am not distracted by the noise and bustle of things and people around me; instead, my eyes see only His dear face. I am continually reminded of His love, His strength, His faithfulness, and His promises. I share that sweet communication with Him that comes from looking only in His eyes.
There is an old hymn that I grew up singing and it comes to mind frequently in this time of learning.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Helen Howarth Lemmel
I want to walk ever more deeply in relationship with Him, knowing that He holds me steady despite the winds and waves. I want to get out of the boat and walk on the water with Him. I want to keep my eyes focused on Him!