I reclined in a chair at the edge of the water, eyes locked on my 6-year-old daughter. I wasn’t the only mom on high alert. Our children splashed about innocently, while the red-flag warnings haunted us, relentlessly.
A day earlier I had attempted to rest under the shade of our family’s umbrella. But every five minutes I was down at the water, motioning to my children to return to the area in front of me. The current was strong. My children needed constant reminders to fight the drift.
If you’re following along with us, reading through the Gospels in 7 weeks, you probably noticed this week contained a LOT of Jesus giving his disciples the inside scoop about the “end of the age.” I don’t know about you, but sometimes these scriptures can make me feel uneasy, at best, and anxious, at worst. A couple weeks ago, I pointed out that Jesus doesn’t mince words. He’s never one to shy away from the full truth.
So when it comes to these verses, what should be our takeaway... other than feeling utterly helpless, and filled with anxiety?
I don’t believe Jesus shared these insights to incite fear in his disciples. I believe His purpose was similar to the reason why I moved my chair down to the water's edge: to remind my children that they must continuously fight the drift.
Jesus knew that we’re prone to drift.
We’re prone to drift away from faithfulness, and be carried away by distraction.
We’re prone to drift away from loving others, and toward discord and hatred.
We’re prone to drift away from peace, and toward worry.
We’re prone to drift away from holiness, and toward sin.
We’re prone to drift away from fighting the good fight, and toward apathy.
That’s why He tells us--
“Be on your guard.”
I don’t have to tell you that our world is getting crazier and crazier. These are red-flag waters we’re dealing with. Like my kids, I need the continual reminder.
As the current of culture grows stronger and stronger, we can look to our unmoving Father. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Luke 21:33). In a world of changing opinions, ideas, and “truths”— God’s Words and Ways never have, nor will they ever change.
We must go to His Word daily and allow Him to point out areas where we’ve drifted. But it’s not enough to recognize it, we must return also. Otherwise, we will wake up one day and find ourselves far from home.
As a mom, I find myself drifting from time with God, pulled by the waves of busyness. I find my confident trust carried off by the winds of “what if?” I find my motivation for doing things influenced by comparison, rather than love.
Friend, have you drifted away from love? Peace? Holiness?
Do you find yourself distracted? Cynical? Worried? Bent toward sin?
Now is the moment to stop and recognize the drift. Put your eyes back on Jesus, and allow Him to bring correction. Pull your wave-whipped body back onto the shoreline, and return to where you started. Our God is slow to anger, and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8).
One of the (many) things I love most about God is He’s always game for a fresh start. Tomorrow is a new day, no matter how greatly we’ve messed up.
The truth is, as time goes on, the current will become even stronger. But as we learn to continually fix our eyes on Him, He will motion to us when we are getting off course. I leave you with this simple, yet strong, reminder from the Apostle Paul:
“Be on guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
Fight the drift.