What Do You Reach For?
I recently broke my hand, or, more accurately, I chipped a bone in my hand. The story isn't particularly spectacular, but here it is; I was playing football (the one you play with your feet for our American friends ;)) and the very first tackle of the game I went shoulder to shoulder with another of the guys who was playing. Off balance I felt myself falling and put my hand out to stop myself. As we were playing indoors all I found to stop myself was a solid wall. Two days later my mum convinced (for 'convinced' see 'forced') me to go to the hospital and I found I had chipped a bone in my hand.
The reason I am telling you all of this is that, like me, when you start to fall you probably, instinctively, reach out to prevent your fall. We try to steady ourselves to prevent ourselves tumbling over completely and sometimes we reach out in the wrong direction and hit a brick wall.
What do you reach for Christian? Life is difficult for everyone on this earth, no matter who and all of us, when we feel like we are falling, reach for something or someone to steady us.
But, some of those things we reach for to stop us falling into a pit of despair or to save us from a terrible day are just not going to be strong enough to catch us ... most of them will not last at all.
Perhaps it is not surprising that in a world where millions of people build their self image and worth on how many 'likes' they get on Facebook or how many times someone double taps their selfie on Instagram that Christians get caught up in this too.
We build our self worth and image on how we look, whether or not we are popular, where we last went on holiday and we try to have an 'Instagram' lifestyle.
Then things go wrong and we spend hours trying to craft the perfect picture to make ourselves feel better with some more likes.
And that's what we reach for ...
When we need to feel better or just something, do we often reach for the approval of others, the attention, the spotlight, the material things that make life so worth living?
Those things can catch us for a while, but they never last ...
So, what about you?
I said 'we Christians' earlier because I have done this myself. I have seen the lifestyles these people lead and I have actually been jealous of them! Can you believe that? I have the Spirit, God as a guide in my life, the salvation of Christ, assurance that I am going to heaven and I have actually been jealous of people on Instagram or Facebook because of their new car, their trip to the Bahamas, their glamorous life ...
Jealous of them when I have Jesus right here with me and a message of salvation to spread. How can I be jealous?
Maybe, I am reaching for the wrong supports.
In Matthew 14:22-36 Jesus walks on water. Jesus speaks with His disciples before Peter walks out on the water to meet the Lord. Peter manages for a while, but soon the wind and the waves start to get to him; 'what am I doing, I cannot walk on water! I am inadequate, I am nothing, I am sinking!!' Peter's confidence is shattered. And Peter begins to fall.
Just then, just as he is sinking, as he loses all confidence and faith; Peter reaches for Jesus. As Peter sinks, his mind does not go to the boat, does not go to his friends in the boat, does not go to anything, any safe place or anything handhold ... Peter reaches out for the Saviour, and the Saviour catches him.
So the next time you feel down, inadequate, lacking confidence, a wrong word has been said to you or whatever and you look at those celebrities on Facebook and Instagram leading the glamorous lives and getting all the likes; well those 'likes' will only last a second, their fame and holidays are fleeting and one day they will reach out for those things and hit a brick wall.
But you, Christian, you have a God upon whom you can rely completely.
All you have top do is reach out ...