focus

Hard night. Hard morning. Grief is such a strange thing.  You can feel like things are getting a little easier, and then without warning you find yourself consumed with fresh sadness, and weeping again with little relief in sight.  I was failing miserably this morning to rely on Christ and His strength.  Rather, I woke up consumed with my circumstances, my impending day, my profound sadness, and felt overwhelmed and weary.  I knew I needed help to reorient my focus to survive the day, so I turned to the scriptures.

So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The only way for me to “not lose heart” thru this loss is by “looking to the things that are unseen.”  As long as I am focused on my current circumstances, my current loss, a future with 3 instead of 4, I am going to be weary and overwhelmed.  God wants me to focus on Him and my eventual eternity with Him.  I need to meditate on the “eternal weight of glory” and remind myself moment by moment that it is “beyond all comparison” to anything here. Where I spend my time “looking” is so critical.

I am reminded of Peter, this morning. He was so focused on Jesus he climbed right out of the boat when Jesus called to him, and started walking on the water towards Jesus!  Imagine, he was walking on water!  As long as he was looking at Jesus he was fine.  But he eventually took his eyes off of Christ and concerned himself with the wind blowing all around him and the raging sea, and when he did this he began to sink.

Why did Peter sink?  His circumstances hadn’t changed.  He was still on the same water, the wind was the same, the waves were the same, and Christ was still right there in front of him bidding Peter to come.  But Peter stopped looking at Christ and focused on his circumstances instead.  When he stopped focusing on Jesus, he allowed his situation to change his view of things.  Suddenly, because he looked at the wind and waves, things seemed impossible.  Because his focus changed and he allowed himself to look at the raging storm all around him, it seemed to be more than he could handle, and he began to sink.

I do not want to be a Peter today. Heavenly Father, help me to not lose heart, help me to keep my focus off of “the wind and storm” swirling about me.  As I walk through my day today fix my focus and gaze on you and your eternal glory so that I may grieve as one with hope…

And to add, one of Grant’s good friends, Tim Berry, said this on FB today; “The beautiful thing about that story is that even though Peter loses sight of Jesus, Jesus never loses sight of Peter and pulls him up and out of the water (his circumstances) when he cries out for help.” Love this, Tim ❤

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5 Responses to focus

  1. Judi Schleiden says:

    So well put and so encouraging Alisa. It’s so hard not to have a pity party but so very thankful that God’s Word never changes and He always brings us to the passage that will renew our strength. Pray for you and Glenn daily lady. I love these verses in the New Living Translation and go to them often.

    Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT) Isaiah 40:28-31
    28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
    29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. 30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. 31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

    A little story for you. While on vacation this past week our son Jeremy, Christine and their three boys were with us. Ages 5, 3 and 8 mths. We had a wonderful time just loving on these precious little guys. The 3 year old wouldn’t let go of me while in the pool. At one point he slipped under the water a bit and came up sputtering saying “please don’t let go of me like that again Grammy”! I said I’m so sorry buddy that that happened I promise not to let go again. So he reminded me from time to time about that and every time my response was the same. Noah, this is part of trusting Grammy, if Grammy says I promise not to let go I mean it, you have to trust and believe me. At that he responded – “Trust God”!!!! I said absolutely Noah that’s it, you’ve got it! Oh what a great reminder to you and me, so simple but yet we seem to forget and take our eyes off of Him. Keep trusting sweetie! Love you TONS!

  2. Kim McInturff says:

    I feel sad with you, Alisa. It hurts my heart every time I read your blog thinking about your daily struggle and how hard this grieving process is in life. Loss sure can be unbearable at times. I often think of the apostle Paul expressing his heart in 1 Corinthians 2:7-9. “We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” I’ve heard so many people say (and I used to believe it myself) “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. That statement bothers me because I have so many friends who are walking through trials that are “more than they can handle” and it makes them feel like they need to be strong when they feel weak. It’s okay to be weak according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “…but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Besides that, we weren’t meant to “handle” our trials in the first place. I think they are confusing the term “trials” with “temptation” as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” That passage is talking about idols in context, not trials. Anyway, not to get overly theological, I just want to encourage you that I so appreciate your honest feelings on your blog. Thank you for inviting us on your journey as you walk through this painful process. You are loved to the inth degree by everyone who knows you! And Jesus absolutely couldn’t adore you more! May you feel a huge bear hug from Him today and every day!

    • Alisa says:

      Kim, this is AWESOME…and brought such comfort and encouragement. Thank you for taking the time to write it all out! It means so much to me. But especially, thank you for praying for me, and walking thru this along side me. It’s a strange thing, and one I cannot explain, but it brings comfort to know I am now walking the road of suffering alone. So thank you. I am humbled and so so grateful. Hugs

  3. Kim McInturff says:

    You are so welcome, Alisa. I feel like crying my eyes out right now. xoxoxo

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