The human heart is a funny thing. Mine seems to continually be on some sort of rollercoaster most days, from the exhilarating heights of adventure and dreams made reality all the way to the valleys of despair and self-doubt. My emotions can run the gamut from thankfulness to selfishness within a beat of my heart. Sometimes I think it’s because I’m an artist. We’re supposed to be melancholy and moody, in touch with our feelings yet have the clarity to write about them or make that feeling translate somehow through a piece of music. History tells us that musicians used to be considered crazy and even put in mental institutions. Now that seems a little harsh but then again I’ve met some pretty wacky musicians who maybe should’ve been considered. I’m not bi-polar, or manic-depressive – I’m human. We all face struggles and joys that cause our hearts to feel up and down, happy and sad, or just plain worn out. But for those of us who know Christ we don’t have to just try and hang on for the ride but instead trust that there’s a hand hanging on to us.
Have you ever been deep-sea fishing? Or riding in the backseat of a car through some hilly terrain? I remember riding with a friend through some winding roads one time and I began to feel sick. My head was spinning and my stomach was following suit. My friend said, “Look out the front window and find something to look at, something a long ways a way, and focus on it”. He said, “If you stay focused on it then it will calm your mind and stomach and you won’t be focused on the rough terrain.” I tried it, and to my amazement it worked! I’ve now found myself giving that advice to people whom I’m driving around. Somehow focusing on that one steady object can help you feel better. I’m reminded of Peter who gregariously called out to Jesus, “If it’s You, allow me to come to you on the water”. Jesus agrees and Peter hops out of an already rocky boat onto a turbulent sea. He starts walking and then that old ‘rough terrain’ starts to get to him. He looks up and calls to Jesus, “Save Me”. Jesus reaches out and asks, “Why did you take your eyes off of me?”
There’s no doubt in my mind that you, like me and every other person on the planet, can get down, feel depressed, hopeless, alone, lost, and confused (you can add your own list of struggles here). There will be days that we begin to feel our spirits beginning to crash and burn or our dreams unrealized, throwing us into a tail spin. Remember these encouraging words from Psalm 121, to “lift your eyes”. Don’t let the stuff of this world cause your hearts focus to blur and your spirit to crush but instead, raise your head, lift your eyes (physically and spiritually) to the Lord, adjust your focus from yourself, change your countenance, take a deep breath in God’s grace and like Peter, call out. Jesus will hear you, He will save you and He will be the calm in your storm. Sometimes it takes a while for us to focus, but once you’ve found that place of peace and strength in Christ, stay there. Don’t rush that moment, trust that He will be all you need for whatever struggle you face. Allow Him to settle your spirit and give you strength. He promised He’d do it.
Do you need to stop for a while to focus on Him, on His plan for your life, on His goodness? Don’t let your busy day keep you from His peace.
Psalm 121 (Message)
A Pilgrim Song
1-2 I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
3-4 He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
5-6 God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
7-8 God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.