Look at Me

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.   We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.  Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne."  Hebrews 12:1-2

Climbing the ladder, my heart was beating rapidly.  Then, taking the long walk out onto the edge of the board, I almost couldn't breathe.  I was overwhelmed by the unknown and a fury of emotion . . . excitement, fear, anticipation, dread, hope.  I was seven years old and about to go off the high dive of the swimming pool for the first time.  As the tears began to well up in my eyes and just before I turned around to find a way to get back down the ladder, I heard my father's voice, "Priscilla, look at me," he said.

Just two years before, my mother's comforting words had coaxed me off the side of the pool and into her arms, "Prissy, look at me.  Don't be afraid.  I'll catch you.  Just look at me."

When I took my eyes off of the water and how deep, scary, and ominous it all was--just focusing on my mother's warm, loving smile and soft voice--it was easy.  I jumped right in, and she caught me!  I couldn't wait to jump again and again.

But this wasn't jumping into Momma's arms at the side of the pool.  This was the high dive.

"Look at me," came Daddy's reassuring voice, once again.  By now, there was a long line on the ladder waiting behind me, watching, and shouting all kinds of things--good and bad.

"Look at me.  Don't look at anything else.  Just look at me."

And, I did.  I looked at my Father and jumped.  His loving arms were waiting right there to catch me.  The rush of the water around me and the exhilaration of the dive were more awesome than I thought, and I ran around to get in line to jump again and again.  The cheering and jeering voices fell silent in the wake of my victory.

Life's circumstances can often be overwhelming, too.  When we climb the ladder of life toward the unknown and exciting new things God has in store for us, we can become frightened and lose focus.  But, Jesus is right there, saying, "Look at me.  Don't look at anything else.  Just look at me."

When Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk on the water, Peter began to sink only when he took his eyes off of Jesus and noticed the stormy seas.  Even then, Jesus reached out to save him (Matthew 14:22-32).

There are so many people watching me! 

Look at Me.

I don't think I can do this! 

Look at Me.

I'm scared.

Look at Me.

What if everyone hates me?

Look at Me.

How do I know if this is right?

Look at Me.

The cheering and jeering voices will fall silent in the wake of your victory, too.

Psalm 16:8 says, "I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Father, forgive me for all the "look at me" moments when each time I should have been looking at You.

May we turn our weary and distracted gaze to Jesus, that we might experience more of what He has in store for us today.

His plans always succeed.


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