In my last post, I shared about my stresses and lack of faith in my situations. My Pastor’s wife, Mrs. Brothers, shared with me what keeps her going in the trying times of her life. Those Bible verses and her advice have tremendously helped me.
What has also helped is a recent Devotion reading from Dr. Charles Stanley with “In Touch Ministries”. Dr. Stanley says that what we focus on is what our heart will seek. He says that our fear and stress come from focusing on the situation rather than on the Lord. In his devotion, he retold the story from the Bible when the Disciples were in a boat headed to another town. Before they could reach shore, a storm came up. In the midst of the storm, they saw Jesus walking on the water coming toward them. Peter spoke up and said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” And Jesus did, and Peter stepped out and walked to Him – on the water!
The storm was still raging, but Peter was walking on the water, he walking to his Lord! But then he began to sink into the waves. Why? Because he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm raging around him. While he was focused on Jesus, he was fine. But when he took his eyes off of the Lord, he sank.
I’ve realized after meditating on what Mrs. Brothers had shared with me and Dr. Stanley wrote, that is what has been happened to me: I have my eyes off of my Lord and am focusing on my storms. Where my focus is that is where my heart is: in the dark waters of fear and stress.
It’s all about focus. What we focus on is what our heart fills with and what our emotions believe. So focus is vital, especially to our spiritual well-being. And that, too, is a choice: we must choose what to focus on. And sometimes it takes a conscious, deliberate decision to change what we are focusing on.
My friend and fellow blog writer, Tracey Brewer, shared the following quote on her blog just recently. It sums this up really well:
In that story of Peter walking on the water, the most precious thing to me is that when Peter cried out, Jesus was right there, took him by the hand and lifted him up. Then the TWO of them walked back to the boat together. Peter just needed to look to Jesus and call out to Him and he was rescued. Jesus was to Peter and is to us today just a heart’s cry away. And He will reach down and pull us up out of the raging waters, too. And by focusing on how much our Lord loves and cares for us, our world will be properly ordered and our daily walk will be restored.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. And my focus needs to be on how blessed I am:
1. My husband’s surgery went great! The doctor had to do more than he expected but it all went well and we are now in the slow but steady recovery. What a blessing!
2. The presidential election is over. From a secular standpoint, only history will tell if the choice was a good one. But the Bible tells us that the Lord puts down one and raises up another. He is in control. He is still King of Kings. We are blessed.
3. There are still family situations that are not resolved and which I have no control over. But I can pray for them and trust the Holy Spirit to move in their lives. This is a privilege.
4. Mom’s health will never improve, but she is not in pain and her mind is clear. We have her with us today and we have the privilege of caring for her. We are blessed.
When I focus on the good things and the truth of the Lord that He is in control and involved in the day to day details of my life, the circumstances I deal with are not the “end of the world” that my emotions can make me feel like they are. My focus must be on the strength and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus. And that is Bible truth, regardless of what my raging storm of emotions tries to make me believe.
Caregiver, you, like me, are blessed to be in the situation you are in – even if it doesn’t feel like it at times. We choose what we focus on. This Thanksgiving, let’s choose to focus on what we do have - for we have so much! We are truly blessed.
Shared in love,