Several years ago, while visiting a dear aunt and uncle who were very elderly, my sister Carole and I were enjoying some of the thousands of old pictures Uncle Ted had taken throughout his lifetime. (He always had at least one camara hanging around his neck!) Holding up one ancient, age-yellowed picture, I asked: “Aunt Anna, who’s in this picture?” Wrong question to ask anyone from across the room, and even more wrong when that person is elderly and has failing eyesight! I’ll always remember her quick reply: “I can’t even see you. How do you expect me to know who’s in the picture?” Aunt Anna’s eyes had lost their ability to focus.
Sometimes our hearts lose their focus, too. We lose sight of God. It’s hard to distinguish what’s important and what’s not. We become frustrated because we are disoriented. What would happen if we would make an effort to focus on Jesus, the “author and finisher of our faith”? (Hebrews 12:2) Here’s the challenge I’m laying out for myself, to get back my focus….
FOCUS – Not on my circumstances. If they are good, I’m in danger of forgetting God; if they are bad, I could turn away from Him. (Proverbs 30:7-9) I’ll focus on God, who allows my circumstances!
FOCUS – Not on my problems or pain. They can discourage me. I’ll focus on the Healer instead! (Isaiah 61:1)
FOCUS – Not on the answer I desperately want when I pray. It can sidetrack me. I’ll focus on the One who hears and answers my prayers. (Psalm 34:17)
FOCUS – Not on my possessions, or lack of them. They can easily become idols. I’ll focus on God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (1st Timothy 6:17)
FOCUS – Not on others. They can change and let me down. I’ll focus on my unchanging, faithful God! (Psalm 118:5)
FOCUS – Not on myself, my weaknesses or failures. That can discourage me! I’ll focus instead on God, whose strength is perfected when I am weak! ((2nd Corinthians 12:9)
FOCUS – Not on the past. That can make me stagnant. I’ll focus on God, who promised to do something new! (Isaiah 43:19)
FOCUS – Not on the future. Worry can overtake me. I’ll focus on my Heavenly Father, who knows all my needs, and provides for them! (Matthew 6:25-34)
FOCUS – Not on trying to be good enough to earn my way to heaven. My best efforts will not suffice. I’ll focus on God, who gave me the gift of salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-10)
One day, my eyesight may fail, and like Aunt Anna, I won’t recognize who’s sitting across my living room. I pray that even then, my heart would be focused on God. I praise God because I know that when these physical eyes close for the very last time they will open in His presence – totally focused on HIM, face to face!