I stood on a beautiful white sand beach just a few days ago with tears streaming down my face. It started as a few tears welling up in my eyes but turned into an uncontrollable sob. You know the kind of cry that when you try to talk, you sound like a blubbering idiot.
No one was around. It was just me, the crashing waves against the shore, my Jesus, and my tears.
I could almost hear Him say, “Why are you crying?”
Well, Lord……….my dishwasher at home is broken, the microwave still isn’t fixed, and the air conditioner just went out.
Really?? You are standing on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and you are crying because your appliances aren’t working?
So, Donna, why are you crying? I heard Him whisper my name and my soul began to calm.
I’m overwhelmed with life, Lord. My eyes are off YOU! I thought coming to the beach, hearing the waves, smelling the salt air would somehow magically make it all better. Running to the beach doesn’t make it all better. It just makes you at the beach.
What does make it better? What will enable me to stay the course, deal with the stuff of life…….the appliances, the circumstances and people that are causing me to sob uncontrollably?
I remembered someone else who had been asked the question, Why are you crying?
Mary Magdalene stood in front of an empty tomb crying. Jesus was gone. Jesus had been her everything. He had rescued her and had given her new life. Her world was falling apart because of His death. Jesus came to her outside the empty tomb and said, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?” Mary thought the answer was to just find His dead body. Then, Jesus called her by name, “Mary”. She immediately recognized His voice when He spoke her name. She replied, “Rabboni!” It is the Aramaic word for “Teacher”. She immediately put herself under His authority and responded with “teach me, Lord”. (John 20:10-16) She didn’t respond with “fix it, Lord” or “make it all better”!
A hurting heart, an anxious spirit, uncontrollable tears, an overwhelmed life will not be fixed by a trip to the beach or to any place. It is the Person of Jesus who calms our fears, holds us when we do cry, teaches us how to handle life and is our peace and joy.
So as the old hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
I did choose that day to “turn my eyes upon Jesus”. As I turned my eyes to Him and put myself under His authority, the aggravating people just didn’t seem to aggravate me as much. The appliances aren’t fixed yet, but they are just appliances. The other circumstances and people are still there but so is my JESUS and He is just so much bigger. He is my Teacher! He will teach me how to navigate life, choose joy and be victorious. I just have to turn to Him and choose Him and His ways.