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Cabin Devotion With Miss Olivia

Keeping our Eyes on Jesus


“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,

though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

-Thomas Merton

Scripture Reference: Matthew 14:22-33, Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 12:1-2

The prayer I shared at the beginning is a prayer one of my college professors shared with my class on our very first day of college. I love coming back to it and praying it at times of uncertainty and unknown, and recently I’ve come to realize that that’s pretty much every day of my life. We may think we have control over our lives, but the truth is we have little power over what happens to us.

The story of Peter walking on the water with Jesus is one of my favorite Bible stories because I see it as a metaphor for walking with Christ in life. We so often get caught up in what’s going on around us that we forget to keep our eyes focused on what keeps us above water — Jesus. Our daily walk with Christ is exactly that — daily. Our relationship with the Lord is not a one and done sort of thing. Peter didn’t just decide to come out on the water and then automatically walk the rest of the way. He had to keep his eyes on Jesus with each step to keep him above water. When he let his surroundings distract him — when he saw the wind and waves — he began to sink.

It is the same way in our lives. Whether surrounded by good or bad circumstances, when we take our eyes off of Jesus, the wind and waves of those circumstances can overtake us. It may be a storm in life like the death of a loved one, or a period of loneliness or depression. It could also be something good that we turn into an idol in our life and focus all of our energies on instead of the Lord. When that happens, we soon come to find that they too leave us feeling empty inside. We don’t always know when those “storms” are going to roll in, and so it is important that we practice setting our eyes on Jesus every day.

So what does that mean, to “Keep Our Eyes on Jesus?” What are some practical steps for doing so? Here are some questions and ideas to reflect on:

- Do you set time aside daily to spend time with the Lord? (in prayer, scripture reading, scripture memorization)

- When somethings happens (whether good or bad), what is the first thing you do? Do you bring it before the Lord before seeking the advice of others or comfort in other things?

- Do you desire to go to the Lord first when storms of life roll in? If not, do you pray for that desire? God wants to answer that prayer!!

- Do you trust that God is standing there next to you, ready to grab your hand when you start to sink (Like Jesus, with Peter in the story)? If not, do you pray for Him to give you that faith?

I don’t know about you all, but everything happening in the world right now has me a bit overwhelmed. I am very tempted to let the things all around overtake me. Plans have been drastically changed, and I long to be doing the things I had planned, like being at Tapawingo this summer. In all of that, remember this: God is the same God today in the here and now as He was walking on the water with Peter. He is the same God on Tapawingo as He is in your home and your school. He is the same God who promises to give us all that we need, as long as we “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.” So, keep your eyes on Jesus —

throw everything else aside. He is the One who will keep you walking on water.

Love you all,

Miss Olivia

P.S. A good song that goes along with this theme: “Walking on Water” by Needtobreathe

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