Focus Matters

It has been one year of living in a massively changed world. Every aspect of our daily life has been effected by a great upset, for better or worse. Our human interactions have changed immensely. Work, school, travel, social events and home life have been impacted on a scale nobody thought possible… in such a short amount of time. This has resulted in varying amounts of fear, hysteria, doubt, and feelings of hopelessness. This change has also resulted in many people opening their eyes to where our world is at in history, and allowing positive personal change where it’s been desperately needed. People are turning to a number of vices but many are also turning to Jesus.

Through all of this, I’ve come to a deeper realization that if we aren’t looking to God and his word, then we will be ultimately distracted by an overwhelming force of oppression. The temptation to accept that despair is everywhere. However, if we are willing to share that burden with the Lord, he does lift it from our shoulders. I’ve also learned on a deeper level the importance of having scripture at the forefront of my mind. Anxiety has been my personal battle for many years and has since reared it’s ugly head as the goals of social (health) acceptance are always changing. This Corona Virus has become the leading social topic and it’s simply exhausting in and of itself. However, if we choose to, we can allow God to use it to reteach the areas of our lives that need attention. Such as, anxiety, self-doubt, fear of man, fear of self, trust issues, and the list goes on. I’ve “accidently” memorized Philippians 4:6-7 which says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

My husband was laid off last May from his job in the oil field and we decided to use our skills and craft to make ends meet. It was tight, and questionable and surely a faith test. Every step was to be entrusted to God. Just when we didn’t think ends would meet, we’d seek the Lord together, trusting him to provide as we did our part to work hard and seek answers. And you know what? He came through when there seemed to be no other way. We’d pray, and the phone would ring for another job that was just enough. We spent 10 months this way, with no guarantee for another paycheck and our strength in the Lord grew as a family and individually. We even fasted… and you know what else? God, in the midst of our fast, opened up the door for my husband to return to his job in the oil field for a season. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

There are so many uncertainties as we all navigate this path of a new and changing world. It’s wise to understand that our “normal” will never be the same. It’s also wise to know that these world changes have brought about the easy-out to play the blame game. The “us vs. them,” the “have and have-nots,” the masked and unmasked, the vaccinated and unvaccinated… No matter where you stand, I encourage you not to judge your neighbor because there is so much to sift through, and if we aren’t choosing to love one another the way Christ encourages us, that we will be offended, angry and discouraged. Let’s give Him back what is rightfully His.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30

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