Focus → Refocus

A little while ago, I shared about focus and how it is so easy to focus on the 1% negative instead of the 99% positive. Last week in Bible study, one of the women made a sweet comment that Ashley's hair was so beautiful and my nails were so nice. She didn't say anything about anyone else in the room. Don't you know my first thought was "What's wrong with my hair?" Why, oh why, do we women do this to ourselves?

On a walk in the arboretum near my house, I again spotted my rainbow in the spray. I wanted to get a better look, so I moved past the tree to my right, and the rainbow disappeared!

A step back to my previous position and the rainbow returned. In order to see the rainbow, I had to be in the right place and to be looking in the right direction.

And to see the promises of God, I also need spiritually to be in the right place and to be looking in the right direction. When Paul says, "Think on these things..." (Phil 4:8), it is an instruction to us - "Do this... Think this..." God would not instruct us to do something if we would not be able to do it.

Years ago, my friend Ashley, the one with the great hair, went through a difficult time. Tests revealed that the baby she was carrying was very sick, a chromosome anomoly. It was uncertain how long her baby would live. Ashley was faced with worries most of us could never imagine. To combat her fears, she put Paul's words to the test. She decided to make a list of "whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely,  admirable, excellent or praiseworthy." As she wrote, she realized that she didn't even have to go past "true." With Ashley's permission, here is her list:

Whatever is true:
1. The Lord gives strength to His people
2. The Lord blesses His people with peace Ps. 29:11
3. For You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb Ps.139:13
4. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear. I will help you." Isaiah 41:13
5. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. Job5:9
6. Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:23

Whatever is noble:
1. This is what God the Lord says-
     He who created the heavens and stretches them out
     Who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it
     Who gives breath to its people and life to those who walk on it:
     I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness
     I will take hold of your hand. Isaiah 42:5-6
2. For God is the King of all the earth
    Sing to Him a psalm of praise
    God reigns over the nations
    God is seated on His holy throne. Psalm 47:7,8

For the remainder of her pregnancy and baby Laura's short life, Ashley's list kept her thoughts from racing in a downward spiral. Throughout her trial, Ashley and her husband were beacons of light to those around them. At the funeral, the pastor said that baby Laura was like a shooting star that he and his family saw while star-gazing on a recent camping trip. For a brief moment, all attention was given to this shooting star. And for a brief while, with all attention on Laura and her family, God's light in them shone in the darkness. In their grief, they were able to comfort others with the comfort they received from the Lord. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

Be in the right place and be looking in the right direction, and the promises of God will be all you can see!



Mari said...

I just finished my morning devotions, and came to the computer to read a few blogs before going to work. My Bible reading today was on this passage- what ever is true, whatever is noble... So, I'm thinking God really wants me to work on this one! Thanks for you perspective on this!

Diane said...

Hi Susan,

How's your dad and step-mom? They have been on my mind. Is there anything I can do ?

Love seeing Eternity Cafe appear in my inbox... very encouraging!
Diane D

Maria said...

thanks very inspirational.

sometimes the copy on EC looks lie its printed on top of each other so I press forward to get a clear picture or email. Not sure why that happens.


Kathy said...

Dearest Susan,
What can I say, I'm speechless !!!

I have to tell you about the messages I have been receiving from God over the past week. I went on a personal retreat last week to Stockbridge, Mass., just stayed over night. There's a Catholic Retreat House there ,I was alone except for the groundskeeper. While walking the around, I saw a plaque that read "Do not be afraid open wide the doors for Christ."

Last nite I was at a Cornerstone meeting, I'm part of the team, for a womens retreat at my church the first weekend of Dec. The opening prayer went like this; Be not afraid of who you are. Be not afraid of what lies ahead. Be not afraid to open the door and allow your true self to lead the way.

Finally, today,reading your blog. The last line was hidden until I moved the down arrow, Max Lucados', Fearless. I get the message, but my humanness needs help,prayers and healing. As
we know All things are possible with Christ. Thanks for blessing me, continue the good work He has begun in You.