There was a moment in Peter’s life when he faced the choice of whether to focus on the storm or on the Lord. It is in the memorable gospel story in which Peter was walking on the water toward Jesus. As the Gospel recounts,
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink (Mt 14:30).
It is so difficult for us. We seem wired for the negative, wired to be anxious, doubtful, and on the alert for any danger. It takes great faith to keep our sights focused on the Lord, who alone can and will save us if we trust in Him. But too easily the world, the flesh, and the devil seek to steal our serenity and snatch from us our ability to see God. And losing that ability, whether through neglect or weakness, we are overwhelmed by the fears of the world. So often our loss of the sight of God has us frantically running about wondering what to do. Scripture says,
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength. But this you did not will. “No,” you said, “Upon horses we will flee.” Very well, you shall flee! “Upon swift steeds we will ride.” Very well, but not as swift as your pursuers! (Is 30:15–17)
Scripture further warns,
- For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge (Is 17:10).
- You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth (Dt 32:18–19).
- But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel (Ps 106:13).
Indeed, do not forget the works of the Lord!
I thought of these things as I watched this cartoon. It features an astronaut of sorts. He is in a threatening place, alone in orbit high above the earth. But with him he has a picture of his beloved, likely his wife, and this consoles him. As his fears grow, he struggles to keep his eyes on her. He loses his connection with her as the warning bells sound and he rushes about in a panic. Finally, his fears wholly snatch his beloved from his sight and fear overwhelms him.
And this is a picture of us, too, who so easily allow our fears to sever our connection with our Father in Heaven. How quickly our fears, elicited by the world, the flesh, and the devil, snatch away our connection with God. And then our fears loom large, overwhelming us.
Do not forget the works of the Lord!