Let's cross over to the other side
Let's face it. Everybody is tired. After weeks of chain saws, no electricity, bottled water-you name it-we all have a good case of Post Traumatic Storm Syndrome. But the fact is, there are times in our lives that we just get tired, but still must move on. In Luke, chapter eight, a story tells of Jesus stepping into a boat with his 12 followers, making the statement, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake." No doubt He was tired from days of teaching many people with very little rest, for He promptly found a quiet place and fell asleep. But while Jesus was sleeping, a storm suddenly came up over the sea, and all those on the ship feared for their lives. Now after Hurricane Ivan, I believe we can appreciate why those poor boys were afraid of this storm.
Let me invite you this morning to "cross over to the other side." Whether you're tired or satisfied and feel no need to move on, we all have room to grow. But growing or "crossing over to the other side," for whatever reason requires crossing paths that may be challenging.
The first one is the pathway of our foes. It's called Enemy Avenue, and no, being a good, moral person doesn't make you exempt. In fact, this may draw evil your way, but the Bible says, "Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." (Luke 6:27-28). Trust me, sometimes that's not easy, but if we've failed this commandment, it's never too late to start over.
Next, we approach the pathway of fear. We all have fears, whether it be death, loneliness, or whatever. But my point is, what is there to fear? The best way to face fear is to go to the One who calms all fears. When Jesus' disciples woke Him from His nap, He spoke to the winds and said, "Peace, be still." This same Jesus is still able to speak peace to the fears that trouble our lives. The Bible says, "God is Love." (1 John 4:8). If God is in our lives, we can live without fear, because "Perfect Love casts out all fear." (I John 4:18).
Perhaps the greatest hindrance in our lives is the pathway of failure. Often, when we think we have failed, we just give up and quit. But one of the greatest privileges in life is to learn from our mistakes. Thomas Edison, the great inventor, repeated experiments thousands of times before succeeding. Failure doesn't take place until we stop trying. That's why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:9 that [we are] "cast down, but not destroyed." This is an athletic term meaning, "knocked down, but not knocked out." If we aren't careful, when we become weary, we'll throw in the towel and quit. Winston Churchill was once called to his alma mater to speak to the student body. They expected a long speech from this dignified man, but when he stepped up to speak, he simply said, "Young ladies, young men, never, never, never turn back," and then sat back down.
So, no matter how tired or discouraged you may feel, cross over to the other side. Move beyond the pathways of your foes, your fears and your failures. And with God's help, we can do it.