This month has been one of the most hard hitting for us. School shopping pretty much destroyed our flexible income (which is okay, because we planned for that), but we decided to start saving for a third set of dressers for the kids (currently, they share 3, each getting a drawer in one, and 2 drawers in the other two). But when our couch finally buckled under the 8 year strain of four boys, that gave us a new saving goal. Then, last night, one of the dressers that was in use completely broke. It was a particle board, do-it-yourself kind of dresser, but it was nice to have. So now, we find ourselves one couch and two dressers shy of what we would like to have in our home.
Yet, in spite of all of this, I can say with confidence that we’re going to be okay. People live and have lived with a whole lot less than what we have now. As a matter of fact, people live with so much less than we have, it almost puts me to shame that I’m even dwelling on our broken furniture. As a believer in Christ, I should not be looking at what I have or don’t have, but should be looking at Jesus. I should not merely keep my eyes on Him, but I should look to His example through the Scriptures, look to His leading, look to His guidance, and seek to emulate Him in all I do. When I look at Christ, and then Him Crucified, what do I have to complain about? Jesus is the Goal, He is the reason for everything. When we take out eyes off of the goal, that is Jesus, we falter, we slip, we spiral in to self-pity and loathing which leads us further from Him. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, these short term messes we find ourselves in don’t matter. This is a small dot on the eternal timeline, and will be forgotten in light of eternity with Christ. I can live, yes even thrive, in all circumstances, when I focus on Jesus Christ.
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.