Monday, June 29, 2015

What are you looking at?

The title of this post is a question that recently convicted me and put things in perspective. Perhaps it's one you need to think about too.

You see for the last couple of weeks I've been fighting fear and questioning purpose. I've struggled with doubt and been challenged by comparison. I've looked at the size of my mountain instead of focusing on the greatness of my God.

Some of the struggle has been hard life changing stuff - cancer, accidents, death. It all left me grieving and thinking, "What if?" At other times it's daily stuff - busyness, sibling rivalry, disobedience (sometimes my kids' and others mine), dentist appointments, the endless calls of "Mom" and so on. On top of that there's things in the world...things happening our grandparents would have never expected that leave me thinking about the world my kids will grow old in and the persecution that will come.

As I've focused on all this "stuff", I've found myself with the glass is half empty mentality. I've struggled with depression in the past and at times felt myself slipping down the hill. Friend, if you've ever been in that pit, you know it's not a place you want to return to.

Psalm 40:2 has been true in my life - "He (God) lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." I'm grateful for the redemptive and healing work God has done, but I've been reminded faith is not a one time decision. Life is a journey not a destination and as you and I walk the path God's paved for us there is much to look at, but there is only one thing we must focus on - Him.

When I look at my problems, life can get overwhelming. When I look at the pain in our world, life can get depressing. When I look at my to-do list, life can be defeating. When I wrongly look at others and compare my life to theirs, things can seem pointless. All these are examples of looking at the wrong thing!

Sometimes when I look at the wrong thing, I start to focus on the wrong thing and that paints a bad picture that is way out of perspective. Once our pastor used a quarter to illustrate this in a children's sermon - he had a child look at a quarter someone held a few pews back. Then he gave the boy a quarter and had him hold it an inch from his eye. When we are zoned in our problems, fears, worries and doubts we don't see them clearly and they appear much bigger than they really are.

So rather than focusing on the trouble, let's look at the One who can handle it. God, our Father, the One who created the world, holds it together and has a purpose. He is loving, kind, able, present and powerful. He can provide ALL we need - "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

Friend today, may we fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) as we remember who He is and allow Him to help us become who He made us to be.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.

    With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 
Psalm 16:8

My eyes are ever on the Lord,

    for only He will release my feet from the snare. 
Psalm 25:15


  1. Thanks for this AWESOME post, Jill! I, too, have been fighting fear (for me for about 2 months). On and off through my life, I've struggled with anxiety, depression, panic attacks. For me, the Lord has revealed to me that it stemmed from things that have happened in my childhood, deep rooted fears that need to be uprooted. Let's pray for each other. :) One thing I've been struggling with is shortness of breath. I was crying out to God about this and then remembered that we (my husband and I) are going to the "Need to Breathe" concert in a few weeks. Some friends had purchased the tickets for us a few months ago (before I was having the shortness of breath and anxiety). Anyway, it comforted me somehow, because it was like God was saying that He knew I was going to be struggling again. So it helps to know that He sees us, He loves us, and He is going to use this for His purposes and glory somehow. It's been helping me to listen to peaceful music and speak bible verses on fear like Psalm 34:4. Here's a song that has been helping me if you want to listen too (2 versions):

    May the LORD bless you and free you from your fears, in Jesus' name!

    1. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words Amber!! Yes, let's pray for each other. It is always a good thing to know I'm not alone. I pray you have a wonderful time at the concert and am asking God to open your ears and tender your heart so that you will hear and receive ALL He has for you! Thanks for the song too! Blessings!

  2. Jill, thank you for beautiful YOU. Your transparency allows all of us to be broken... to be real... and to rejoice since that puts us on the list of those Jesus came for! I love you so very much...

    1. I am thankful for YOU my friend! Blessings and love from Iowa!