Look UP

I was taken aback by my physical and emotional reaction to what I saw. I had known all along it was coming, but when the day arrived, I got sick to my stomach and felt teary. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stepped out of the house last week early Monday morning and looked up to see what the building crew had done. Part of my house was missing. (You can read here about how last year’s ice and snow caused our roof to partially collapse.)

What followed was a week of controlled chaos. A team of amazing builders worked quickly and precisely to beat a predicted rainstorm later in the week. The men worked hard, tore off old rafters, set new trusses, and cleaned up debris – always making sure that by the end of the day the section of the roof they had worked on was sealed.

I have never had to face the loss of a home or experience substantial damage to it, and I must admit that I have taken the roof over my head for granted. When I saw it partially gone I suddenly realized how dependent I have been on my comfort. I started to pray and asked the Lord to make my anxiety go away. I suddenly remembered the story in Mark 4:36-41 where Jesus calms the storm.

Jesus had been teaching His disciples through many parables during the day. Then, as evening set in, He invited them on a journey to learn one more lesson. I wonder if they felt a windstorm coming. I wonder if the trees were bending already and the leaves were rustling as Jesus asked His disciples to take Him across the lake. I wonder if the disciples looked at the sky and then looked at each other, shrugging their shoulders and then still pressed past the crowds into the boat. The story tells us that some time later, while they were on the lake, a great windstorm aroseand the waves crashed into the boat. The disciples became afraid and looked for their Master. They found Him asleep in the stern on a cushion.

In my prayer, I told the Lord about the impending storm at the end of the week and my worries about what a mess it would be if water got into the house. I imagined myself in the boat trying to wake Jesus up. I could almost feel my knees getting wet from kneeling in the wooden vessel in some fishy smelling water. I imagined myself rousing the Lord, trying to shake His holy feet and shoulders. “Can’t you see? Don’t you care?” My prayers felt like helpless questions rather than a naming and claiming session. I heard Him speak to his disciples,

“Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 

The problem with my faith is that I confuse it with my feelings. I get scared, worried, confused, depressed, anxious, and impatient when I focus on what could happen. The enemy swoops in and feeds the fire of my emotions. But when I go to Jesus my feelings calm, and I become confident in who He is. I wonder if at the root of Jesus’ question was the fact that the disciples were focused on what they were feeling, “Why are you so afraid?” Maybe He was reminding them of what He had been explaining to them all day.

“Put your faith in Me!”

While construction is still in full force, while water still got in this week, while parts of our ceilings didn’t hold up, and while we are still taking care of our family in the middle of the chaos, Jesus remains Who He said He is. While my faith still is under construction, being tested and worked out, the Lord asks me to confidently trust Him. I do well to remind myself and my feelings about the things He said about Himself. Faith is an “assurance and a conviction of things I can not see.” (Hebrews 11:1). When I remember the the God of my faith, my feelings usually don’t lag too far behind.

“Lord, I get it wrong so many times. Please help me to look up, toward You, and and not down toward my feelings. You are the One Who Calms the Storm and knows what I need. You always will provide for the things I need. Thank You for being so patient with me.”

Psalm 121

 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

(Pictures and devotional, Heidi Viars, 2019)

About Heidi Viars

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth ...” ― C.S. Lewis ..... In my pursuit of self, I found utter darkness. In my pursuit of truth, I found Jesus, who dispelled the darkness by His forgiveness. Now I follow Him and try to understand Him better. I am a wife, mother of 6, blogger and love taking photographs of sunrises.
This entry was posted in Christian Poetry, church, Devotional, Revival, Sunrises - Pictures and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Look UP

  1. Thank you for sharing this encouragement. I love what you said about not confusing our feelings with faith. God is so good, and it’s heartening that in the midst of life’s circumstances He is there to uphold us with His love and His Word. Blessings ♥

  2. Debbie says:

    Thank,you so much Heidi, for helping us to look up! Especially during those times when our faith and trust feels shaky. He never is. And Psalm 121 is one of my favorites that I go to each time I am getting overwhelmed. Blessings and love!

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Sweet Debbie, how about memorizing Psalm 121 with me?… I have been thinking I need to do that. I have gotten away from putting the Scriptures to memory. When I do that it’s like I just loaded up on ammunition for the attacks of the enemy. Hope your weekend will be beautiful!

  3. Mary Sweeney says:

    Heidi,
    I’m so much like you! I think about all the “what ifs” all the while I’m saying that “I trust You”.
    I love this: “Lord, I get it wrong so many times. Please help me to look up, toward You, and and not down toward my feelings. You are the One Who Calms the Storm and knows what I need. You always will provide for the things I need. Thank You for being so patient with me.”
    This is my prayers as well.

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Mary,
      I have to remind myself that God is still God even in the “what ifs”. I am praying so much these days. It’s here that I sense it gets worked out. Our Father always hears us!
      Sending hugs your way, dear Friend!

  4. Leslie Gearing says:

    I remember that fear and anxiety as i watched my home burn…..all of the questions that nagged at me, scared me, and humbled me…..I still am trying to trust completely that God has a plan for me, that he hasn’t forgotten me….I get tired, but God doesn’t! Thank you for your openness!

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Sweet Leslie, I remember that night well. We woke up and looked across and saw your place in flames. It was so scary … and I can’t imagine what that must have felt like for you. I know God is continuing to keep you in His capable hand. He always has and always will. So grateful you stopped over, dear neighbor!!!

  5. Nancy Ruegg says:

    “The problem with my faith is that I confuse it with my feelings.” Oh, yes! That happens to me too! Amen to the wonder of God’s attentive care and his patience with us. A tender, insightful post, Heidi!

  6. Dear Heidi, I don’t how I missed this on Tuesday ~ perhaps because of doctor’s appointments; but glad I found it today. Even if I don’t find you on my Reader, you always direct me here when you visit with us. You always relay the work of the Spirit of Christ on “wings of the dawn” to encourage and direct us to Him. Let us see your finished house. Blessings as you grow in patience, joy, and peace in His work in you and your family. :).

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Oh yes, the pictures will be there. It’s a long process but it will eventually get done. If God willing, In a couple of months the snow will come and we will be securely sitting under a functional roof. Thanks, Fran, for being an encourager of the Body of Christ. You are a blessing!

  7. ladycee says:

    I love this psalm – particularly when I consider that God never slumbers or sleeps. Amazing! And gives me such a sense of security that even when I am asleep God is ever watchful, ever alert.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and the lesson learned.

  8. Chris Fabry says:

    You are mining words and experiences, Heidi! Thank you for sharing your gift!

  9. Amy Polcyn says:

    Such a good word! I am going to print this out so I can read it to remind myself Who is in control. Xxoo

    • Heidi Viars says:

      Thanks, sweet Amy! Your encouragement, prayers, and time mean much to me … and have over the years. Isn’t God so good in the gifts He gives … like prayer-filled friendships! 🙂

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