Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fixing Our Gaze

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
 (II Corinthians 4:17-18, NLT)

Does your gaze need fixing? Mine often does.

Sometimes life seems to be all mapped out and I’m comfortable with where things are. When my sons were little, they might have been underfoot quite a bit, especially with home schooling, but I knew where they were. I knew what the lesson plan was for the day and sometimes before four o’clock in the afternoon, what we were actually having for dinner. While there were days not enough seemed to get done, we had a routine of sorts. Yet life was never boring. We had plenty of  “interruptions." My parents needed care and we had to move them a few times. My husband, Jack, fell off the roof and broke many bones, landing in a wheel chair for six months. Later, Jack’s parents needed help. And in between there were the soccer games, art and music lessons, church activities, etc. Dogged by a lack of energy to begin with, I struggled to catch my breath and keep some semblance of order each day.

“Interruptions” can also take place in the lack of activity. As things seemed to be moving along in my career, I recently had a job with the right hours and the right distance from home . . . and then I was laid off. I had also felt plugged into a small spiritual community a couple of years ago, which was a great support to me, but I had to let go of when I returned to school and then again when I was working. Friends and family move away; we lose people we love. Life can change in a month or a moment. Suddenly we’re in the desert, when we least expect it—parched and alone.

Whether I was struggling to have enough energy to care for others, beyond the usual demands or being asked to sit still in the quiet, I am at a crossroads where the Lord asks, “Will you trust me for the answers?” Either I am leaning on Him for strength or wisdom—or both. I can choose to see such interruptions to my plans as mountains to climb in my own strength or I can see them as momentary troubles to help me focus on Christ and His will for my life. I can learn compassion and patience or give myself sleepless nights filled with worry.

The Lord allows for our best-laid plans to not always turn out for a reason. Our faith is
tested to help it grow. How we react and live through our troubles can give God glory when we do things right. We have an eternal hope in the unseen realm. Earthly troubles last for a short time compared to the eternity we will live with God in His glory. I don’t know just exactly what that will entail. Jack used to tell the kids when they were little that he was sure there would be ice cream in heaven. As much as I like ice cream, I have a feeling it’s going to be even better than that.

Lord, please help me to have the right heart attitude and to do a better job of waiting on You for guidance for the days ahead. Amen.


  1. I hear you, sister! Fixing our eyes on Jesus is the key to all these detours and potholes of life. I'm so glad I have Hope!

  2. Because sometimes He just says no.

    1. Yes, Linda, and even "no" is answer, though it might not be what we want to hear.