One of the things my husband and I love to do together is go to the beach. It doesn’t matter what season, we enjoy being near the water.
There is something about being near the ocean that is calming for us. Listening to the methodical lapping of the gentle waves, or the pounding and crashing of the surf against large rocks, creating powerful waves, that just soothes our souls.
For me, being close to the water, sitting and taking in the sights and sounds, allows me to draw close to the Lord. I marvel at His creation and how he allows the water to only come so far… the sting of water droplets hitting my face on a cold winter day. The smell of the salt and seaweed. The sound of the sea birds crying out to be heard over the crashing waves – there’s something about it all that says “peace” and “relaxation” for me.
My husband and I will often head out on a road trip to a beautiful spot called Peggy’s Cove when we hear of a storm on the way. It usually produces huge, awesome waves in advance of the storm. We get so awestruck watching the surge of those waves crashing into the rocks, spraying saltwater high into the air.
During those visits, I often think about how Jesus calmed the wind and the waves when the disciples were out in their boat during a storm. I wonder just how amazing it would have been to witness that kind of miracle – imagine turbulent water and howling winds ceasing on command before your very eyes!
One thing I notice in that passage is that during the storm, the disciples were focused on the problem at hand – the wind and the waves, and the strong possibility of a sinking ship and loss of lives. I often find that when my own focus is on the situation, the problem at hand, that’s when I tend to get the most worried and afraid of what may or may not happen.
My fear often comes when I take my eyes off Jesus.
When I remember to keep my eyes on Jesus, even with the storms raging all around me, I’m more relaxed, more assured that no matter what is going on, no matter what is currently happening, I know I will be all right, regardless of the results. While I can’t control what happens around me, I can control where I put my focus and what my thoughts are.
I am learning that I don’t and can’t control things that go on around me. If I focus on the disaster or the potential fiasco that could happen, I am contributing to my stress and my anxiety becomes a dominant factor in my life. By focusing on the only One who really is in control, I am more at peace and calm. I am able to get on with my life without the fear and anxiety… and He wants to do the same for you.
...And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. – Luke 8:24 (NASB)