May 30, 2016
Living near one of the largest Amish communities in the USA, we occasionally see a horse-drawn buggy on the roads. The horses, predisposed to distractions, wear small squares of leather attached to the bridle beside their eyes. These “blinders” keep the horses’ eyes focused in front of them and don’t allow them to become distracted by what’s around them. Because horses have excellent peripheral vision, the blinders are essential for the peace and safety of the folks in the buggy.
Like the horses, we need blinders, too; our peripheral vision can distract us. Looking around, we see situations that we can’t control: a health issue, a sudden loss, a difficult relationship. Long, sleepless nights and anxiety-filled days become our reality. But when we focus only on our God of peace, (Romans 15:33) the circumstances around us don’t distract us.
The prophet Isaiah wrote that “He (God) will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” That’s focus. Spending quality time with Him in His Word and surrendering our worry and fear to Him in prayer always brings peace to our troubled soul. Focused with our blinders on, we will experience what the Apostle Paul wrote of in Philippians 4:7: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(Join me each Monday of 2016 as I share more of my quest to know God better)
May 24, 2010
The school building loomed incredibly huge. It was the first day of school in a new city, and as our second-grader, Adriel entered, he seemed to get lost in the sea of his peers, all dressed with their crisp, white school uniforms. We were living in Argentina, and just moved to the city of Rosario del Tala that day. Since we lived only 4 blocks from the school, I walked him and Denise to their first day of classes. Denise was starting third grade, but I wasn’t concerned about her, because I thought she could handle it. I watched as our little freckled, blond son blended in with teachers and classmates he didn’t know, and walked back home. My mother-heart was very heavy and fearful. It was hard to hold back the tears, knowing that he was facing this new situation without me. Unpacking our moving boxes, I kept thinking that he was so little and didn’t know anyone…
When classes were out, the two of them came home together, and bursting through the door, he flung his backpack across the table happily announcing: “Bien, ya me hice amigo de todos!” (“Well, I made friends with everybody already!”) He was totally oblivious to my fears and excess concern. Instantly, I realized that the problem was mine, not his! I made a mountain out of a molehill that he didn’t even know existed! I found out that he really could function without me! He wasn’t afraid; I was!
Since then, I often thought of the lessons I learned that day. As a mom, it’s not easy to let our children handle their own situations at any age. In our fear, we are good at making huge mountains out of something they don’t even consider to be molehills. If our fear is left unchecked, it evolves into worry and control; neither of which are healthy for parent-child relationships. I’ve learned that my concern and fears turn into peace in the measure that I trust God with our children’s lives. The Psalmist David summed it up in very few words in a prayer in Psalm 56: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (v.3)
I’m thankful that God turned Adriel’s first day of second grade into a day I’ll never forget. He probably doesn’t remember what he learned that day in his new school, but I know what he taught me when he got home!