Sometime within our first years of marriage, my husband and I went tent camping with some friends. One couple had brought their boat for everyone to enjoy some time out on the water. Growing up as a kid, water activities were not a frequent part of our lives mostly because of my mother’s fear of water. I remember feeling nervous on the boat. The anxious feeling that can come when you are not in control and your mind races with all the things that could happen.
My husband and others took turns riding a kneeboard. I decided I would do something outside of my comfort zone and attempt to ride it. Standing near the bank, I knelt and strapped my legs onto the board. As I held onto the pull rope, the boat slowly began to go. After a little ways out, I lost my balance falling over with the strap still holding me to the board. Frantically, I got the strap undone and even though I had a life jacket on, I’m sure my face showed some doubt. My husband, knowing how my mind tended to go to the worst case scenario, stood up and shouted from the boat, “Lisa! “ to get my attention. Once he did, he said, “Just stand up!”
I was still able to touch and that immediately brought assurance and hope. Once I could get a sure foundation under me, my perspective about my situation changed. Now that I knew what to expect, I went on to try several more times. Balance is definitely not my strength! We still enjoy camping, and I love being out on the lake fishing (no kneeboard). The story of that first attempt is something that still gets a head shake and laugh from my husband. Really, it’s fine, you can laugh.
Yes, this is a silly story, a moment of fear that I can now laugh about. But, I thought about how many times I find myself in circumstances where my automatic response is fear and panic. Those moments when my thoughts and imaginations make me believe I’m in over my head. I’m frantically looking for some kind of assurance and hope- a place to securely stand. As humans we want and need security in life. Take away security and it is soon replaced with anxiety.
God, with just the utterance of a few words, the heavens and earth were created. At His word the very foundations were established. “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” (Psalm 33:9 NIV). “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89).
God’s Word was made flesh in Jesus Christ. “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says, “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone.It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.” (Isaiah 28:16 NLT).
Jesus talked about this foundation in Matthew 7: 24-27 ESV. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been found on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
How do we stand on this foundation? We trust His Word. We abide in His Word. We apply His Word. We have faith in His Word. Because of the foundation of Jesus’s death and resurrection we can have an eternal perspective. Living with eternity in our minds helps bring assurance and hope that can sustain us in daily life as we face hard things.
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever”. (2 Cor, 4:18)
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand ( In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend)
If today finds you searching for assurance and hope, this is what I say to you, “Friend! Just stand up!”