I have the tendency to think, and speak, in extremes. If I’m not careful I quickly slip into black and white thinking or the all or nothing mentality. The truth is I have big emotions.
I spent years wishing I were more vanilla in this area. I thought life would be simpler if I could feel less. However, God revealed that He designed me this way! He wired me to feel and think deeply; my personality and passions are tied to this trait. Instead of wishing it away He invited me to embrace it, allowing Him to use it.
He wants us to live both firmly rooted in His steadfast truth and as a true expression of ourselves. There was a learning curve, but it’s been a beautiful journey. Today, I want to share a trick He taught me along the way!
During a particularly hard season with a physical injury I found my way back to the all or nothing perspective. On hard days, my attention zoomed in and I struggled to see past the pain. On good days I was filled with hope and joy. It wasn’t long before I was exhausted by the roller coaster.
My heart begged the question, “when will this be over for good?!” Almost as if I wanted to stop feeling all together until the season was over!
He told me to simply lay down my longing for the entire season to pass and take it one day at a time. I know, I know, this isn’t news per se, but hear me out…
He revealed that when things were going well I was relieved, but also reticent. I was almost scared to believe the progress would last. While on hard days I fought the nagging voice of hopelessness wondering if things could change and searching for the hope I no longer felt. Either way, I was constantly tired and disheartened.
As an alternative, He told me to reel my attention in to what was right before me and focus on being with Him in the midst of it. To simply praise Him for a day of relief or cling to Him for comfort on days of pain. To let go of the end result and simply be with Him each step of the way.
Instead of waiting for total resolution He invites us to fully enter in each day!
Focusing on the end goal robbed me of all the beauty along the way. My entire life was fixated on when the issue would be over. Of course I wanted resolution! But, I was throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I sacrificed the good in many days looking at it through a faulty lens.
I am so grateful to share that my injury is long resolved. Perhaps not surprising, I still have “good” days and “bad” days. There are simply hard things and hard seasons in life.
His invitation is the same- to fix our eyes on Him no matter what our day holds or what questions hang in the balance.
The more I practiced keeping my attention on Him in the present, praising Him for days brimming with joy and clinging to Him until a storm passed, the more I realized I was no longer on the roller coaster. Instead, I found myself firmly rooted in Him!
Will you join me?! Is there an area of your life that is so painful you have a hard time focusing on anything else? Despite your best efforts perhaps your emotions seem to mirror it. Instead of trying to fix it, or ignore it, or control it, try acknowledging it and then focusing on Him in the midst of it! If you aren’t sure how, ask Him for help! Ask Him for the grace to praise Him on days of relief and cling to Him on the hard ones.
True Peace is not found in the absence of problems, but in the presence of God. Wherever you find yourself today, He is with you. Will you fix your eyes on Him in the midst of your circumstances?