Know how people are prone when driving by a car accident on the highway to stare at the accident and all the chaos of the traffic, fire engines, ambulance, police officers, and damaged cars, and to try to figure out if anyone’s injured and if they might know anyone in the accident? And how the safest thing to do while driving isn’t to stare at all the drama and chaos but instead to focus on the road ahead and to carefully move forward down the highway?
This is just like what some of us tend to do when we’re going through personal struggles and face challenging circumstances. We tend to stare at our circumstances – not to mention react to them with stress, anxiety, hurt, anger, vengeance, impulsive responses, etc. – rather than focus on the Lord, the Word, and the road ahead.
I confess I struggle greatly when I’m in a difficult season with getting caught up in “the accident” – i.e. my circumstances and the accompanying thoughts and feelings and challenges and decisions involved – rather than steadfastly, devotedly, confidently keeping my eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the road ahead.
It’s not that I turn my back on the Lord and stop praying, seeking Him, praising and worshiping Him, spending time with Him, studying the Bible, listening for His voice, reaching out to my fellow Christ followers, etc. But it’s that deep in my heart, I tend to focus on my troubles, hurdles, obstacles, hardships, hurts, etc., rather than to keep my eyes steadily on God and His Word. My focus tends to drift to “the accident” – over and again.
I tend to do a lot of bouncing around. Shifting my eyes from the Lord and His Word and the love, hope, peace, and joy I find in Him to the “accident” (my circumstances) as I try frantically to figure out how to handle everything. Then, as I wear myself out trying in the flesh to solve and resolve everything, I remember the Lord and return my focus to Him and His Word. There, in Him, I find peace once again. Then off I go back to my circumstances! My eyes and heart darting back and forth between Christ and my challenges. It’s pretty dizzying and certainly not comforting and secure when my focus is bouncing back and forth!
This early morning, as I continue to plod through some challenging circumstances, albeit not nearly as challenging as past ones but challenging just the same, the Spirit of God brought to mind the scriptures above as He drew my focus back to Himself.
The Lord in His mercy is patient with me as He teaches me to be steadfast in focusing on Him. And when my focus drifts back to my circumstances and I get bogged down in them and the anxiety, hurt, anger, etc., I fall into, the Lord lovingly mercifully draws me back to focusing on Him. One most wonderful way He does this is through scriptures. Like the ones above. I am learning. I am growing. He is teaching me. He is growing me. Conforming me to Himself. The scriptures He gave me that I now share with you are wonderful reminders that there is no better and more precious and important place for our focus to be than on the Lord!
Friend, when we face challenging circumstances, there assuredly are times we will need to focus on them in the sense we may need to make decisions, we may need to talk about them with a friend for support, we may be led to cry out to the Lord about them, etc. But never should we get bogged down in them, swallowed up by them, consumed by them.
For when we do, we can forget about the Lord who is greater than them all, who holds the answer to them all, who is the answer to everything, who is the one who is greater than this whole world, and in whom we will find the salvation, hope, peace, joy, comfort, compassion, love, mercy, truth, wisdom, help, healing, fellowship, and promises we need as we continue on down the road ahead. Walking with the Lord. With His Spirit lovingly graciously, mercifully, patiently leading the way.
Let us not condemn ourselves for when our focus falls away from the Lord. Let us instead turn our eyes and hearts back to the Lord and His Word and learn how to keep our focus more and more on the only one whose love goes on forever and in whose fellowship we can be eternally when we repent and believe in Christ as Lord and follow Him step by step down the road He leads us upon.