What is vying for your attention this morning? Are you weary from worry? Are you anxious over the path ahead? If so, hear the instruction of the Apostle Paul. “Be anxious for nothing!”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 – NIV
Over the past 25 years, I have sat in what seems like a million exam chairs waiting for a team of doctors to examine my diseased eyes. Each visit to the ophthalmologist includes a barrage of testing, including the visualization of the retina at the back of the eye. With my eyes dilated, the doctor shines a light into my eyes while looking through a lens at the retina. The doctor’s nose stands mere inches from my face, definitely violating personal space rules. From this uncomfortable vantage point, the doctor instructs me to look up and to the left, then straight up, then up and to the right, and so on. I find it a tad humorous that I have to really think about these directions in order to make my eyes shift the right way. It’s as if I can’t recall my left from my right. I have to focus, listen to the instruction and consciously force my eyes to move in the right direction. I’m not sure what that says about my brain, but it is an interesting little phenomenon.
As we travel this journey of life, we find ourselves face to face with a whole host of problems. Some of these problems come uncomfortably close, disturbing our peace of mind. Wee feel threatened, the cold, clammy fingers of fear clutching us in its grasp. We feel alone, adrift, uncertain of where to look next.
That’s when we need to focus. We need to pause and think carefully. Are we looking down at our circumstances or up at our Lord?
When we face problems on our own, we feel lost and afraid. We try to control our circumstances without divine assistance and that doesn’t work out so well. Going it alone is a lonely road.
Yet, when we turn our faces heavenward, we see a different approach to our problems. Through prayer and petition, we can present our requests to God. We can share our burdens with the One who is more than equipped to carry our heavy load.
We can cast our anxiety on our Lord, because He cares deeply for us. When we drop our burdens at His feet, we find the peace that transcends all understanding. Our Lord is fully aware of our difficult circumstances and has a plan to work them out for good.
When faced with the trials of this life, we must learn to fix our eyes on Jesus. He can calm our frayed nerves. He will see us through the challenges we face if we place our trust in Him. We don’t have to go it alone. We have Jesus.
Friends, where is your focus today? Are you looking down at your circumstances or looking up to your Lord? As i examine our situation,the best instruction I can offer is to keep looking straight up. That is the pathway to peace.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 – NIV
O Lord Jesus, help us to fix our eyes on You. We need You. O Lord, we need You. Every day, every hour, we need You. Lead us to leave our burdens at Your feet. You will help us with whatever lies ahead. Help us to focus on Your promises and trust in Your Great Faithfulness.