For my eyes are toward You, O God the Lord. In You I have a safe place. Do not leave me without help.
Psalm 141:8 (NLV)
A reporter interviewed an off-duty police officer about a rescue he had recently performed while on a hike with his family. Another hiker passed him on the trail and told him someone needed a rope to get out of the river. By the time he found the young man, he was flailing and anxious, his arms, legs, and hands numb from the cold water of the whirlpool where he was caught. The officer was a search and rescue officer and used the rip cord in his back backpack to fashion a make-shift rope. The reported noted from a video of the event that the officer was talking to the young man and asked him what he was saying.
“I told him to be calm. Don’t look around. Keep your eyes on me.”
In these turbulent times, we may feel like we are caught in a whirlpool and can’t get out. The rocks are slippery, the shore too far away, We are afraid. But Jesus knows we are in distress. It reminds me of the story of Peter walking on the water. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he moved toward Jesus. But when he looked down and saw the wind and raging waters all around him, he started to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me!” “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.”
We don’t know how long this season of angst will last. Anxiety and frustration threaten to overwhelm us. Life as we knew it may never return. But if we listen carefully, we hear the same words whispered from Jesus, “Be calm, I’m right here. Look to Me.” He will bring us through it. It reminds me of the lyrics of an old hymn:
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.