Somedays it seems that the world is full of more darkness than Light. Recently, I read that if I focus on the Light in the world and the good things people do, I will be less influenced by the darkness. I equate this to the “junk in, junk out” philosophy. When I continually, focus on the dark it becomes overwhelming. My attitude deteriorates. My mood becomes cloudy. When I notice the kindness of others, the beauty of nature, the smile of my grandson, the many blessings God has given, my attitude becomes lighter. My outlook reflects this with gratitude.
One recent afternoon, my attitude was flushed down the toilet (so to speak). Initially, I was unaware of the change. But, God gently nudged my inner being. Thankfully, not with the iron skillet I deserve! He was waiting for me to reach out to Him. To readjust my focus to the Light, the Word. We were created for union with Him. Each human is searching for Him. When we do not commune with Him, we seek other ways of satisfaction and are disappointed when it doesn’t work. We must look to God first. I know I fail at this more than I’d like to admit.
My prayer for each of us: Father, thank You for Your Manual of Life! Help us not to give in to distraction. Gently, guide us back to Your Word, Your Truth. May we begin each day with praise for the many blessings You provide.
Matthew 6:33-34 (TPT) “So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
As the new year starts (yet again!), I am more aware than ever that God’s mercies are truly new and fresh each day. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) As the years pass, I continue to wrestle with myself: my own failings, doubts, and (sometimes senseless) rationalizations. Often, it seems that I will NEVER get out of the ruts I have plowed for myself. Although God has helped me climb out — more accurately expressed, He has often dug and hoisted me out! — of the more self-destructive and perilous ruts in which I used to wallow, it seems there are other ruts that the wheels of my thoughts tend to favor: the tendency to allow circumstances to dictate my priorities, the need to constantly evaluate my own worth, the lack of motivation to assert myself enough to make longterm changes that would be beneficial to me.
However, God’s Word says there is hope! I don’t need to rely on my own energy; I need only lean hard on His mercy and His vision for my life. Thankfully, He never gives up on me, in spite of the fact that I have often given up on myself! Every day, He showers a generous dose of fresh mercy, fresh grace, fresh forgiveness, and fresh life — HIS life — on me, if I will only recognize and receive it.
Isaiah so aptly admonishes us: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (43:18-19) God Himself declares that He is doing a new thing. He asks us to be willing to open our eyes and see what He sees. He wants us to perceive what He is already doing. He says He is making a way right there in the midst of the wilderness places of our lives, and He is providing water to drink, even in the dry places. I guess my job is not so much to get myself out of the ruts as to focus on Jesus and ask Him to heal my vision. Do I want to perceive the new thing He is doing? Do I really want to? Or do I secretly prefer my own tedious but familiar rut?
Father, deliver me from my own lack of vision — heal my blindness, and help me to perceive the new things you are already working in my life. Give me YOUR vision, YOUR motivation, and YOUR incentive! Empower me, Father, to walk in YOUR ways and to drink Your living water rather than wallow in my rut and drink from my stagnant cistern. You are able and willing to make me willing and able! So be it for 2011! Praise God for fresh mercies for a new year!