So I think I finally hit my top level of stress for the year. Between relationships, jobs and family I have faced so many situations in which I have asked myself “how am I going to get through this?” or even “Well what does the future look like now?”. Life presents us all with problems that can leave us feeling defeated or sometimes even disappointed. My default mode for handling stress or feeling overwhelmed is getting away and going back to what I know how to do best: sleep. I shut off the world and dream myself into a universe where Snickers are super healthy for you and living in Disney World with goofy as your roommate is normal (yes I have dreamt of this scenario before and no Goofy didn’t pull any pranks on me, he was a respectful roommate as far as I know).
I love reading Luke 5:1-11 where Jesus starts to gather a team together that He will begin doing ministry with and inviting lost people all over the world into His kingdom. I always almost picture Jesus getting a pen or pencil handy writing down his fantasy team of players He finds essential to winning at life. Jesus has anyone to choose from to live life with and some of the first people he decides to pick are average hard working fishermen. Not exactly the G.O.A.T. at winning souls towards the kingdom. In fact none of them were even followers or believers of Jesus. In Luke 5:1-11 we run across Jesus encountering Simon Peter for the first time. “1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. So picture this, Peter had spent hours upon hours fishing, catching nothing, and left with feeling exhausted and defeated. All of a sudden as Peter begins to pack up and head straight towards his Serta mattress a random person walks up to him with an entourage of people and asks if he could make room in his boat to finish his speech and teach him how to fish. “Where do you get off?!” I picture Peter saying. If there’s anyone who knows how to fish it would be the fisherman. Jesus was able to catch Peter (no pun intended) in his normal daily routine only this time Peter was dealing with the stress of life not meeting his expectations. What a great event in history in that Jesus steps into an average fisherman’s life and changes his eternity simply by asking the question “Peter will you make room?”. How often do I get stuck in my normal routine of daily living beginning to handle the stress of life all on my own not realizing Jesus is there beside me asking me the same question: “Chris will you make some room for me?”. How many times this year have I started the conversation with “how am I going to get through this?” Or “what do I do now?” Instead of “Jesus I am making more room for you in my boat that is right now full of anxiety, worry, fear, and control”. Is anyone else like this? I have the tendency to let life overwhelm me with what seems like an insurmountable amount of problems realizing only later I’ve been filling my boat with all the wrong things. I’m taking fear out to sea with me instead of Jesus. I’m taking worry out to sea instead of Jesus. I’m taking anger out to sea Instead of Jesus. I’m taking stress out to sea instead of Jesus. I’m taking ______ out to sea instead of making room for Jesus. Just like any encounter with Jesus my favorite part comes at the end where we read Peter allowing for Jesus to step in his boat to finish speaking to the crowd and then introducing Peter to the idea of a new life following Him. With the fish that they began to catch that day Jesus wasn’t hinting a gesture of “let me take care of you for the day” but rather “Make room for me and I’ll show you what it’s like to never have to worry about life overwhelming you again”. There’s always the other option, there’s always the bigger adventure, there is always a solution to all of our life’s “too big to handle” problems and it’s to make room. I’ll be honest, between stepping into a new phase of dating and giving permission for people to examine every aspect of your life and going through a season of letting the people you love down by missing moments of not paying attention, I have been needing more than ever to make room for Jesus to step into my boat and show me what it’s like following Him. I can only go so far in life with my love, my happiness, my peace. But by living through God’s love being dependent on Him for everything I remember how taken care of I truly am. Thank you God with Christmas coming soon that you have reminded me to make room for you in my life knowing only you can bring about the love, joy, and peace that I seek that no one else will be able to give me. I thank you Lord for stepping into my daily routines seeing me sometimes feel defeated and ask me the question “Will you make room for me?”.