Keep your eye on the ball

Posted on April 3, 2012 by

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My earliest memories of baseball are coaches yelling for me to “keep my eye on the ball”… to “see the ball, hit the ball”.  Sports that require swinging a bat or a club at a ball – cricket, baseball, golf – demand that simple but elusive skill. As easy as it seems,  keeping your eye on the ball is the challenge of a lifetime. There is a reason why few master it.

In the small hours Jesus went out to them walking on the water of the lake. When the disciples caught sight of Him walking on the water they were terrified, “It’s a ghost!’, they said, and screamed with fear. But at once Jesus spoke to them. “It’s all right! It’s I myself, don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it is really you,” said Peter, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come on then,” said Jesus. Peter did step down from the boat and did walk on the water making for Jesus. But when he saw the fury of the wind he panicked and began to sink, calling out, “Lord save me!” At once Jesus reached out his hand and caught him…Matthew 14: 25-31

There are great lessons for us here.  A few…

Jesus is full of surprises. He defies conventional wisdom, rises above the troubles and difficulties. When things are difficult, even impossible, He prevails.

There are always storms. I have known Christ since July of 1965, before many who receive this email were born. The storms have never stopped. Sometimes more intense, sometimes less, sometimes impending, sometimes in the distance. But always there. There is lots of bad news in the world these days…always has been. We are in a ministry that is difficult. Life is difficult. That will not change until He returns or we go to be with Him.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him. When we keep our eyes on Jesus the storms do not cease… but we remain safe, at peace, in the adventure of a lifetime, locked in on Jesus and above the storm. This is not to ignore the storms or wish them away. It is not make believe. We know storms are there and so does Jesus. It the only strategy I know to survive and thrive in the chaos. It is life!!

If we look away we are in trouble. It is a bad place to be walking on the water, in a storm, terrified, and to lose sight of Christ. Panic!  It happens to all of us… we  become distracted, fixate on the storm and problems, look away from Christ and sink. And it leads to depression, brokenness, despair, isolation, bitterness.  The temptation to do this is immense!

He is always there, to ”at once” reach out His hand and restore us. As one who has repeatedly sunk and been rescued I know this one first hand.

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL. Regardless of circumstances set your gaze on Jesus. We are the ones God called out to lead this ministry in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland – to catch the wind of the Spirit and come along – to get out of the boat and follow.  If I had one piece of counsel to followers of Jesus it would be this…FIX YOUR GAZE ON JESUS CHRIST.

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