Life can be hard. In fact, just this week in my little corner of the world, I have friends dealing with the following struggles: an accident that led to surgery, divorce, a pet diagnosed with cancer, a 3-day old grandbaby undergoing heart surgery and the loss of a spouse. That is a lot of hurt, especially considering that is only what I KNOW my friends are going through. I am sure there are many more struggles happening silently behind the scenes which are not voiced in calls for prayer. Life is indeed hard sometimes.
When we walk through a storm in life it is all too easy to focus solely on the storm. We dial our eyes down into the pit of darkness and fear that the storm brings and soon we can see nothing but the bad. By focusing on the fear, we feed it and it grows. Suddenly, even the good things in our lives become shaded in gray from the current storm clouds.
This world and our human nature leave us with little resource or incentive to reset our focus. In this world, we are trained to be hard wired to focus on the negative. In addition, the media focuses its energy on the horrible tragedies that happen thus feeding our underlying fears and keeping us focused on the negative. Then, factor in the social media focus on the tragedies and the negative spiral continues.
It is during times like these that we must CHOOSE to focus on the positive things in our lives. It is extremely rare to have every single thing in your life be negative. There are always bright spots and breaks in the storm clouds. However, it is only when we CHOOSE to focus on them that their light can shine into our hearts.
God knows the tendency of our human nature to focus on the negative in our lives. He knows how the media tends to hype the tragedies and how they try to keep us interested in the downfalls of the human race. Because He is all knowing, He gives us advice on how to change our focus, thus changing our thoughts and in the end transforming our minds and our lives. One of God’s many pieces of advice is from Philippians.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
He tells us directly to focus on the good things, because He knows that it is only in focusing on the good that our hearts can beat again. Then, we can be lifted up and filled with the peace that passes understanding. We may be walking through a storm but acknowledging there are good things in our lives gives us hope for the future.
Don’t misunderstand me in saying we should ignore our problems or the world’s problems and pretend they don’t exist. I am simply saying we should not accept the lie that tells us the current storm will never go away or that we will never feel happiness again.
This is not something we can do on our own. We need God’s help to change our focus and He is more than ready and willing to help. We merely need to seek His help and ask for it. We can bring our storms to Him and ask Him to help us weather the storm and in the midst of it to help us focus on the positive things in our lives.
Dear ones, I KNOW God has the power to help you change your focus. Trust that He does, ask Him to help and walk in the peace that will follow. It will come.
I Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxieties on Him(God), because He cares for you.