I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. As I’m nearing my thirties, the things that I haven’t yet done are becoming more evident. The house that I haven’t yet bought. The husband that I haven’t yet found. The kids I want so desperately but haven’t yet had. The degree I haven’t yet earned. With each passing month comes a new realization of how fast time is going, and the feeling of a life that is seemingly passing me by.
“Do you remember the story of Job? It’s a story of great suffering, but also of great strength, and even greater faith. Like in the story of Job, it can feel overwhelming to not be able to have a simple answer to suffering and hardship as we are enduring it, but God gives Himself as the ultimate answer. He is the ultimate comforter and healer, and He is our Redeemer.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” – Proverbs 4:25
To focus means to center your attention in one direction. When we lose our focus, our motivation starts to fade which can make the quality of what we are doing, decrease.
Often times in life while listening to the voice of God and following His directions, somewhere down the road, we still allow people/circumstances cloud our vision – blinding and distracting us of moving forward.
Horses that pull wagons and carriages wear blinders. Have you ever wondered why? The purpose of these blinders is to prevent the horse from looking anywhere else but forward – it prevents them from becoming distracted or panicked by their surrounding. These horses are on a mission, meaning they cannot afford to be distracted. In life neither do you and me.
With all this being said, these past two weeks have been a challenge for me. I got somewhat discouraged by certain things that were happening and started to forget the reason of the season I am in. I quickly realized I needed to let go of the distractions and refocus my perspective. And just like the carriage pulling horses, I needed to put my blinders on.
Keeping focus is difficult. But taking your eyes off of God’s purpose is not an option. It will lead you in the wrong direction.
Where is your focus fixed on today? Anxiety? Discouragement? Hopelessness? Are you focusing on what is happening around instead of in front? Narrow down your focus. The moment you do, you close off but one line of thought – God’s. Let your eyes look straight ahead – not beside you, nor behind you but before you. Having a 2020 vision means having a perfect vision. Don’t lose your 2020 focus
Read also: What is your focus on?
I was up early this morning and this is often the time that God speaks to me the most. This morning was no exception. I began to remember the time my husband Dave and I took a trip to Colorado. It was a great trip! There is no feeling like the one you have the first time your eyes look upon the Rockies! They are incredible and awesome and massive!
A highlight of this trip was when Dave hiked to one of the highest peaks. Once he accomplished reaching the top, he felt success, excitement, fulfillment, and exhilaration! However, those feelings soon began to fade into those of lightheadedness, nausea, and shortness of breath as altitude sickness began to set in. He knew he needed to get back down the mountain and he needed to do it quickly!
Mountaintops and valleys
I haven’t thought of that experience in a really long time so I wondered why God brought it to my mind and the significance of it. Then He began to speak to my heart. So much of our lives are spent wishing for the mountaintop…longing for the mountaintop experience! But just as Dave learned, that is not where we are designed to stay. Our renewal of faith, strength, and hope comes when we are down in the valley. This is where we spend most of our time. Dealing with struggles of time management, children, financial problems, marital problems, health issues, the death of a loved one…you know, the normal struggles of living life on planet earth. But this is where we need to flourish and be completely content.
On the mountaintop, we often forget that we need God and that those around us do too. We are so excited, feel so successful and accomplished that we often don’t have a dependence on God or a heart for others either. We can easily fall into the “it’s all about me” phase and just like the landscape of a mountain, our hearts can become cold and bare, isolated and lonely of a relationship with Christ and others. But in the valley, that is where we sense His presence the most. That is where we cry out to Him in a dark time. That is where we long to feel close to Him. That is where we pray…earnestly pray. That is where study and depend on His word to guide us. That is where and when we need our Christian brothers and sisters to lean on and to live life with.
Count it all joy
Here, in the valley, our hearts can reflect that landscape as well. There are often streams of water, trees, beautiful green grass, songbirds and other wonderful animals in a valley. The perfect setting for warmth, relationship and growth. So why do we long to be on top of that rocky mountain so much…so much that we can lose sight of what is truly important in this life?
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the mountain top! God created it and we are to enjoy His blessings with a grateful heart. But we need to find contentment and joy in the gift of everyday life as well, no matter the circumstances. As James 1:2-3 says, count it all joy!
Read also :When life is not a rose garden
Give Her Childlike Faith
The contagious joy of a child is a special thing. It is innocent. It does not come from a place of judgment, or fear, or insecurity. If you imagine it, you can almost hear the deep belly laughter of a child, and it feels impossible not to smile.
How long has it been since you have looked at something like a child does? Not acted “childish”, but let go of your pride and embraced humility, let go of the weight of the world and celebrated each moment and felt joy and full of excitement? As we get older, it can easily get much more difficult to come to both Jesus and the world this way.
Christmastime is my favorite time of year. I’m sure it is for may be for many of you as well. Even though the days and nights are filled with business, there seems to be so much excitement and love in the air that it makes the chaos tolerable and even enjoyable.
Have you ever looked back on your life and thought to yourself, “Wow! How did I survive all that?” Most of us have a story to tell reflecting God’s love and mercy and so did Joseph.
Imagine for a moment that you are John the Baptist, you are walking the walk and talking the talk. You are fulfilling your calling when all of a sudden the one who can take away ALL the sins of the world shows up! Jesus! The one, the only!
How would you respond to God made flesh now walking toward you?
What if you were meant for more but you are settling for less? What if you were called to stand out but instead you are comfortable fitting in?
In a recent conversation, I was asked: “Does God really have a specific plan for each of us?” The answer is an absolute “Yes”!