Walking with my eyes shut

Heading into the parking lot, my daughter grabs my hand.

“My eyes are closed Mommy.” I can hear the grin in her voice as she lifts her head toward the sky, her beautiful face lit up by the sunshine. Peace is the only word that can fully capture her calm assurance and absolute trust as she bravely walks forward, her hand securely in mine.

I safely guide her through the cars and yellow lines toward our vehicle, where she releases her grip and jumps into her seat.

Psalm 119:162 declares, “I rejoice over Your promise like one who finds vast treasure.”

I think of my daughter’s face, as I contemplate God’s promises to me. Except tears fall down my cheeks while asking questions. I’m stopped on the sidewalk, looking both ways, unable to see. The light is haze. Where should my foot hit the ground, Lord?

Yet, His promise still pounds in my head and my heart. So, I choose to thank Him. Thank you Jesus for Your promise to me even when I can’t see. Because I know You can. See for both of us, Lord.

I put my hand in His, close my eyes, and step forward with my Jesus.

I don’t need to see the way. I just have to know He does.

And that is why I rejoice in the treasure of His promises.

Storms don’t define me

“You are either in the middle of the storm, coming out of a storm or going into a storm.”

Every time I hear this common saying, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

It’s not that I disagree life is full of storms. All of us will face difficult circumstances and trials over the course of our lives. I just don’t like the focus.

Life isn’t about the storms. It’s about the Savior.

Every day, every moment, we have a choice of where our eyes are fixed. We can decide where our stability, direction and peace rests.

Illustration from Bedtime Bible Stories, pg. 322

Illustration from Bedtime Bible Stories, pg. 322

Last night, our family bedtime devotion centered on Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus and His disciples were on a boat, and while Jesus slept, a storm came on hard. The waves crashed onto the deck and began to overcome the disciples work to keep it afloat. In fear and desperation, when their hope was lost, they cried out to Jesus! Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves, and suddenly all was calm. This is what our devotion had to say:

His followers were afraid because they believed more in the storm than in Jesus…Many people today believe in the wrong thing. They have little faith in Jesus and great faith in the world.

– Bedtime Bible Stories, pg. 333

When we cling to Jesus, there is hope and shelter. Within every storm, God is there, ready to gather us under His wings, to cover us. It’s not the rain that soaks. Within His shelter, grace falls freely, filling us to the brim while the storm rages on.

Though the circumstances of life can rip apart what we have built, break our hearts and threaten our security, the storms do not dictate our future. Fierce winds and thunder can be drowned out as God’s love holds us tight. The lightning may keep coming, but our hearts can be captivated by the Light of the world.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

– Psalm 91:1-4

When I look back on my life, I don’t want to just recall the storms. I want to remember God’s mighty protection, and sweet moments of grace.

It’s not the storms that define me. It’s the very presence of Jesus, who is right there with me, no matter what.