If we fail to focus on that which is right, all that is wrong will fill our hearts and ensnare our dreams.
[bctt tweet=”If we fail to focus on what is right,all that is wrong will fill our hearts and ensnare our dreams #keepyourjoy “]
All I could think about was the salt stinging my eyes, the flippers rubbing on my heal, my ankles cramping, and my heart pounding with the fear of what other sea creatures might be heading my way! (Sure, I know the nurse sharks I had just encountered don’t typically eat people, but what if they decided I resembled a fish or some other creature they did like eating!!)
I was ready to raise my hand and request the boat.
I wanted comfort. I figured I had just checked a couple items off that bucket list so who needed more?
But the look on my husband’s face told me I needed to take a deep breath and re-evaluate.
So, I stuck my head back under the water and an epic battle of good vs. evil began!
“Oh, look at the pretty coral.”
“I can’t even see it well cuz my stinkin’ eyes burn so badly”
“But look at that! Is that a barracuda?”
“That’s just great. Do those eat people, too? Ugh! Ouch. Ankles. Blister.”
“Oh my stars! A sting ray! I have never seen one that huge! My little L would love it!”
“Drat. My eyes sting.”
“A sea turtle!!!! Wow!”
And that is when it hit me! I do this in life, too! I focus on the yuck. The aches. The pains. The hurts. The inconveniences and the frustrations.
What about you? I’m convinced I am not alone in this.
We fill our minds with the thoughts of all that is wrong and before we know it, we are ready to give up. Call the boat back. Step back into a place of comfort. A place where we are stuck.
But God says there is another way. A way that gives hope. A way that opens our eyes to the treasures that still lay before us in the midst of any situation.[bctt tweet=”Stuck?God says there is another way.A way that gives us hope. #hope #getunstuck #searchingformoments”]
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
We need to place our focus on what is good. On the blessings. The moments of joy, hope, peace, and beauty.
We need to place our focus on the One who is all of these things. On Jesus.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
I’ll be honest, friends. It’s not going to make the yuck go away. It will still be there just like the salt in my eyes and the blister on my foot. But when we take our focus off everything that is going wrong, and intentionally fasten our thoughts onto that which is right, our eyes become capable of soaking in the unseen treasures that bring us significant joy.
There are times in life I have felt the enemy plotting so heavily against me I wanted nothing more than to raise my hand and call for the boat.
In those moments, I couldn’t seem to drag my eyes off all the injustice. I was stuck and longed for an escape.
But the only escape that will bring true joy, is the conquering of the enemy’s plot. It is when we tell him that he has lost and the win is in the hands of our Savior.
And then we make just one intentional act at a time. We don’t have to solve it all with one big swoop. Just one act. An act to say, I see the good. I’m on the journey and I know there is beauty to be found.
Then we look for it.
It’s the sunset that takes your breath away or the music that makes your heart sing.
It could be the smile on a child’s face or the hug from his sticky hands.
Maybe it’s the kind word from a perfect stranger or a dear friend’s caring gesture.
Or maybe it’s the wagging puppy tail that greets you at your doorstep.
Whatever it is, He has put it there just for you. A moment to be focused upon.
So, my friends, keep your eyes on Jesus.
Just one step at a time.
I promise He will show you the way.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.
Hebrews 12:2 (The Message)
Dearest Jesus, I come before you today with an open heart ready to let You change me. Ready to put my focus on all that is right. Ready to put my focus on You. I know it won’t be easy as the world draws my attention this way and that, but I know Your love is filled with grace and I know You will walk me through every time I fail. But, Lord, today I ask that You grab hold of my focus and open my eyes to all the moments of blessings and joy You have placed along my path. I want to see the good and feel the joy as I work toward the dreams and goals You have placed in my heart. I thank You for loving me so fully. In Your holy Name I pray. Amen.
Hope. Hope for all the hard places in life. If you think you could benefit from a little extra hope in your life, consider joining the Searching for Moments Community with access to the Library of Hope. Filled with resources encouraging your walk with Christ and keeping your hope alive, it’s free to join!
I regularly link up with these encouraging sites.