Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4: 6-8 NIV).
Have you ever had one of those seasons when the laundry and overdue bills are stacked so high that they compete to see which can mount highest before the stack crumbles?
The new school year has just begun, and the kids’ team sports and clubs are booking dates on the family calendar. How will you budget for the fees, the bills, the car that needs repairs, and the holidays that the announcer on the radio so cheerfully announced were (insert anxiety-inducing number of weeks away here) around the corner?
Do you get where I’m going with this?
Life gets busy, and the outward stresses that come with adulting can become overwhelming. It’s easy to sit and stare at the leaning tower of dishes carefully balancing on the dish rack and get annoyed. We can feel like the great wall of clean laundry waiting to be folded, and the remaining baskets still waiting to be washed are closing in on us.
How, then, is there ever more to life than work and sleep when we have so many responsibilities demanding our time?
This is when I find I have to put myself into a timeout.
I drag my green lawn chair out into the backyard, hidden behind the big walnut tree, and sit beneath the shade of its great limbs above.
Much more than I care to admit, my focus becomes consumed on the things of the world around me, and I begin to crumble with worry. I get stressed with commitments and deadlines looming over me. This is not how God intended us to live. Jesus never said life was going to be easy.
He promised believers that in their lives, they would have troubles. Man, He wasn’t lying!
When I sit behind the walnut tree talking to Jesus, hidden from the chaos, I feel my heart rate slow. I can hear the birds around me and feel the summer sun’s heat on my face. The more time I spend talking to Jesus, the further the troubles I face become. My attention is on Him.
My problems haven’t changed. Just where my focus is has changed. When I take my eyes off my troubles and focus on Jesus, He can start lifting some of those burdens I insist on carrying around my shoulders. As I invite Him into my circumstances, He takes the load off me.
See, He did not promise an easy life. He promised we wouldn’t have to do it alone. God has given to all who believe in Him the Holy Spirit as our helper. We…I must remember that we are not meant to live life alone.
We must remember to keep our focus on God. He has given us His spirit to tackle our troubles in the world. His promise is that when we focus on Him, we will find peace in our lives.
I don’t know about you, but this is good news for me!
Prayer: Father God, I thank you that you did not leave me forgotten and alone in this world. Thank you for sending me Your Holy Spirit to help carry the load and walk with me through my life. Help me to keep my focus on You and Your truth all the days of my life. Amen
Your Turn: What are you focused on most today?