By KRISTAN DOOLEY

When the spinning plates I juggle hit the floor, my first tendency is to look at the broken pieces surrounding me. Instinctively, I think we all drop and begin picking up the mess. Whether it’s the broken marriage of our aging parents, the bad choices of a close family member, the personal loss of a loved one or the aching pain of watching your child make bad choices, we work to rebuild.

I’ve learned this the hard way, but when I go to work on the brokenness in my life or in the lives of others, even with pure intentions, it is still me doing the work. My strength grows weary as I try to push forward fixing what is not mine to fix. As a pastor, there were seasons of my life I held bandages over people’s brokenness in hopes they would one day find enough motivation to reach their hand up and grab it themselves. I fought way harder for their healing than they ever even considered fighting. It left me burned out and beat down.

Keeping my eyes locked on Jesus enables me to stay grounded and keeps me centered on the fact that He does the rescuing; I need to stay in the proper place of receiving.

In Mark 4, the disciples are out on the water trying to get to the other side of the lake when a storm rolls in. The fierce winds threaten to capsize their fishing boat. With their eyes frantically on the storm, they went to work, scooping out the oncoming water, pulling in the fishing nets, grabbing the spinning wheel. In their panic, they did whatever they could do to survive. In their fear, the chaos around them would surely be their defeat.

grayscale photo of beach wavesMidwater scooping someone remembered Jesus was in the boat. Frantically, they called out to him. “Jesus, how are you sleeping? Wake up and do something! Don’t you see we are all going to die here?”

Mark 4:39 says, “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

Turning to them, with the eerie silence of stillness all around them, he shook his head and asked, “Why are you so afraid? Why did you forget?”

Something happens when I make eye contact with Jesus. When Jesus becomes bigger than the circumstances I face, my faith kicks in and the impossible begins to happen. The chaos around me only controls me when I look away from the Jesus within me.  Instead of focusing my best attention to the pain we face why not focus our best attention on the Jesus we serve?  Why not invite him into the brokenness and resist the urge to fix it in our own strength? Why not give Him the opportunity to do what He does best. Our chaos doesn’t shake Him. Our brokenness is not too much for him to carry.

1 Peter 4:12-13 says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange was happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”

I know it hurts. There are times I want to hang my head low. I know sometimes it is easier to look at the mess I am in rather than lift up my eyes. But, He’s there. He’s not scared. He’s not moved. He’s not shaken. He has my hope–and yours. He has our faith. He has our future.

FOR FURTHER THOUGHT  Today, consider making a decision to look at Jesus instead of the broken pieces laying around you in the midst of challenge.  Make eye contact with Jesus and find what you need. Take a minute right now and fix your eyes on the One who is the author and perfecter of your faith. He loves to strengthen you!

PRAYER  Father, thank You that You come near me in my chaos. I am so grateful to have a kind, loving and present Father. strengthen me today. Empower me to fix my eyes on You and walk forward in freedom and faith. You are who I need in the midst of whatever storm has rolled my way. I love You and I need You. Amen.

To learn more about Kristan Dooley, visit:

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