I hope you all had a joyous Easter weekend and took some time to meditate on the impact of the Resurrection on our lives. I'm always humbled by the depth of pain and suffering Jesus endured to save us from our sins. My simple minds struggles to comprehend it all.
My favorite Easter tradition is to watch the movie, "Jesus of Nazareth". It's the best portrayal of the life of Jesus that I've ever seen. I've also been viewing "The Bible" Sunday evenings on the History Channel.
It always amazes me how you can study God's word over and over, yet still receive a new revelation from a story you've heard 100 times before. Last Sunday, "The Bible" showed the scene with the disciples in the boat and Jesus walking to them on the water. When Peter stepped out to meet Him, he had a moment of fear and doubt when he looked at the storm around him and began to sink. Peter didn't just go under a little bit; he plummeted way down below the surface.
It surprised me to see how far the movie portrayed Peter's descent in the water. I suppose I had always assumed he would have only gone under a few feet and then Jesus quickly pulled him out.
Mark 14:30 says, "But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord save me!"
The Greek word for sink in this verse is katapontizo which means to plunge down, drown or sink.
Peter didn't just get a little wet here; he plunged deep into the water and without the immediate help of Jesus, he probably would have drowned.
This made me realize how quickly we can plunge back into the sins of our flesh, the cares of the world, by just taking our eyes off of Jesus for a second. I get so discouraged about how rapidly worldly struggles can devour me, how swiftly I feel as though I'm drowning in the sea of life. One second of losing my focus is all that it takes. ONE SECOND!
No wonder we struggle so much in our marriages! We, too often, look at our spouse as our earthly "savior" - someone who will pick us up out of the raging waters and keep us safe. Someone who will protect us from worldly troubles. We focus on our spouse, (instead of God) expecting them to make us happy and keep us 'walking on water'. We can only feel disappointed when we discover that they, too, are human and face the same battles we do, the same difficulty in staying focused on God.
Not until we put the will of God before our worldly plans and before our spouse will we succeed at walking above the frustrations of the world. We have to learn to focus our lives completely on God's plan for us. But here's the beauty of marriage - we have a God-given partner who will be by our side to walk in this world and to strive to stay focused on that plan - together. God gave us a spouse to hold our hand when we face the raging seas of life.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return fo their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
That cord of three strands should include you, your spouse, and God. If we stay joined as one with our spouse and with God to fight our battles together, if we seek God's face hand-in-hand with our spouse, if we keep God in the center of our marriage, we build an intimate bond that the enemy can't break. We won't have to fear drowning in the sea of life.