On the Side: November 2023
by Sharon Chatwell
I am so thankful for all that Christ has done for me, that it often drowns out all of the noise from the world. It all falls silent. There is nothing else. In a world that gets persistently more and more distracting and (dare I say) evil, it is good to have a haven and a focus. In Jesus, we have someone on whom to fix our eyes; the author and finisher of our faith.
For anyone in this world, it is easy to be discouraged, afraid or even depressed. As wives of doctors, it is at least as easy for us, as for everyone else, to fall into these traps. And why not? We routinely find ourselves bearing the brunt of raising our children, keeping our homes and encouraging our loved ones.
Even as the world becomes less and less supportive, we do our best to try and help our families, churches and communities to be safer and happier places. All of this weighs on us, and as it does, our husbands are taking their places to help those around us who are sick or in pain. And afterward, they come home to us. It’s tough.
How do we get through our day, our week, our husband’s career all in one piece?
We keep our eyes on Jesus.
Yep. That’s the short answer. Not only do we give our lives to Him as our Lord and Savior, but we also keep our eyes on Him. We remember who He is and what He has done for us, and we are thankful to Him. That’s how we do it.
In Matthew 14, Peter gets out of a boat after Jesus commands him to do so to walk with Him upon the water. As you’ll remember, Peter does fine until he takes his eyes off Jesus. Matthew 14:30 says, “But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ Verse 31 says, “Immediately Jesus reached out with His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’” After that they both get in the boat and the wind dies down. Verse 33 says, “And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are truly God’s Son!’” (Matthew 14:30-33, NASB).
The looking at the waves, the forgetting about Jesus (even momentarily) and the taking his eyes off of Him is what caused doubt and fear. And it led to Peter sinking down into the water. Now, don’t get me wrong! I’m proud of Peter. He’s the only person I know of, beside Jesus, who actually walked on the water!
But we all have those sinking moments. And when they happen, we need to call out to Jesus saying, “Lord, save me!” And He will.
As I am writing this article, it has been just a few days since hostilities erupted in the Middle East. Every morning I have to get up and see what they are doing over there. It is unquestionable that any information I have today will be obsolete by the time you read this. I don’t know what else to say except, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you’” (Psalm 122:6, NASB).
Thankfully, we aren’t told to keep our eyes on the world. The author of Hebrews tells us, “…let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1b-2, NASB).
We are to keep our eyes on Jesus. Think about Him and what He did for you. He came here, where we are. He took our sins upon Himself. He died once for all, to pay for our sins. Because of what He did for us, we can trust in Him, inviting Him to be the Lord of our life and submitting ourselves to Him. He enables us to do this through His Holy Spirit, who is given to us.
From that time on we are different; we are new creatures. We are strangers in the world, who like Abraham are looking “…for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10, NASB). And we know that one day we will see that city. And that is another thing we can be thankful for.
I’m so thankful that “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13, NASB).
I’m so thankful that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NASB).
I’m so thankful that “…the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself” (Acts 2:39, NASB).
We don’t have to look at the waves. It is okay for us to know they are there, but we need to look at Jesus while we are running that race that is set before us.
Just keep your eyes on Jesus and think about Him as you are out there…walking on the water.
Sharon is the wife of a physician living in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. She often finds herself out there walking on the water, slipping and sinking, and drowning from time to time. She encourages you to keep looking at Jesus, no matter what.