“Eyes on Jesus”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, February 24, 2022, comes to us from Dianne Fegan of Queensland, Australia.

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:22-33 NIV

 

“Eyes on Jesus”

My mother died when I was in my twenties, so she never got to see and enjoy my five children. She was a doting grandmother (she already had 22 grandchildren), and she used to spend time with each of her daughters and daughters-in-law when they had their babies. She also knitted beautiful clothes for each one. She was always there for them. I missed her particularly when we started our family, and I blamed God for taking her away when I needed her the most. For a while I focused more on the demands of parenting and my own constant weariness than I did on Jesus and his desire to walk with me through this season of doubt and grief.


In today’s scripture reading Peter took his eyes off Jesus too. He focused more on the storm around him than on the One who could calm the storm. Peter nearly drowned; but when he called out Jesus saved him. Storms in our lives can overwhelm us and may threaten to drown us in despair. But in those moments, we can call out to Jesus, the One who can save us. Jesus cares more about the daily challenges of our lives than we may believe. We simply need to reach out to him in faith.

 

Friends –

My mother died very suddenly when I was 11 years old. Obviously, that was an extremely traumatic time for me. I blamed God, because I knew that my mother didn’t want to leave my father and me. I had only briefly been connected to a church through my mother, but my father was not religious. So, I didn’t have a faith base to lean on.


It wasn’t until I was in high school when I found my way to the youth group at our local Methodist Church. In that fellowship, I began to let go of my anger with God and understand that God had given me that opportunity to heal and find faith through Jesus, who could calm even the most violent storms of my life. I invite you to consider the storms in your life and remember how Jesus calmed those storms. If you haven’t experienced that calm yet, perhaps turning to Jesus can begin to bring healing for those storms.

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Thank you, Jesus, that you always hear our cries for help, no matter the time of day or night. Amen.

--Dianne Fegan


Prayer Focus:

Grandmothers


Thought for the Day:

Do I focus on the storm, or the One who can calm the storm?

 

[The Lord] reached down from on high an took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

Psalm 18:16 (NIV)