28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
I know that by now many of us may be getting stir crazy or are still trying to navigate a timeline to figure out how long our current situation is going to last. I can only imagine that was the same thoughts that many of those that have gone before us have had while they were going through a time such as this. I think back to the Israelites when they were in captivity wondering when or if the next day would bring them out of their current situation. I can imagine how the families that were not faithful and were sent into the wilderness for 40 years had to wonder when they were going to be freed to actually go into the promised land. I can imagine all of the stories the we read form the Book of Judges of how the people continued to go through the cycle of being enslaved, crying out to God, God raising up a Judge to free them, and then they once again return to their wicked ways which would cause them to once again be enslaved. I can only imagine how Job must have felt with every day that continued to bring more and more struggles, frustrations, pains and hurt. I could go on to talk about people who lived through World Wars, droughts, famine, disease and such more more, but the one thing that was a the constant was that God was a part of the story.
The reason I mention that today is because I think that sometimes our vision is blurred to actually see what the future may hold. I know that we all live in the here and now, but I continue to think through the opportunity for spiritual breakthrough that may come from our current situation on the other side. I know that those visions have not come into full focus, but I continue to believe that God has set us on this path for a reason. I continue to believe that God's plans and purposes are way beyond anything that we can even fathom, but God is still in control. The scripture continues to remind us that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him. ALL THINGS... Even in the moments to where our vision is not clear. Even in the moments where we feel as though God has left us alone to deal with our current situations. He has not. God has always promised to NEVER leave us or forsake us. I think that sometimes we have to continue to help bring the picture that God is revealing into focus, and sometimes that means that it may not look exactly how we think it should look. God's ways are not our ways and God's thoughts are not our thoughts. Instead we continue to walk in faith in hopes of continuing to see more and more of the final picture being revealed.
FOCUS is a word that is really hard to define in certain times of our lives. When we try to FOCUS on the things that are right in front of us that may need our immediate attention, sometimes we find ourselves too short sited. When we try to FOCUS on things that are beyond our current situation, we find ourselves missing very important details that may cause us to completely fail in the first place.
In our lives, we have to find the middle ground that allows us the opportunity to recognize the immediacy of the moment while still keeping one eye down the road in anticipation of what is to come. It is almost like living a life with bi-focal vision. See when Paul begins to speak to the people of Rome, he is trying to help them understand that he was educated and trained to be a part of the Aristocracy. He had plans and a vision that was, in his mind, the perfect way to live his life. But then God showed up. Paul could no longer see where he was going and the scales of the world's FOCUS caused him to lose his sight all together. Then God helped Paul to bring his true calling into FOCUS. Paul finally let go of his thoughts and plans for his life and stepped in the position that God had been preparing for him. This new FOCUS would eventually allow him to become the greatest missionary of the Gospel the world has ever seen. But the most important part of the story is that Paul was willing to let go of HIS vision for his life and follow GOD'S calling which still connects with millions of people every day.
I say all of this to let us all contemplate our FOCUS today. What is it that we are all holding onto that if we just humbled ourselves and trusted in God that would allow us to finally see the bigger picture? What are the things that we continue to force ourselves to see, but may never come into focus if we continue to do things our way? It does not mean that we will not end up at the same ending point eventually. It means that we will continue to fight and struggle and squint and piece together smaller parts of the final image that if we just allowed God to take His rightful place in our lives, maybe.. just maybe it wouldn't have taken us so long. We have been called according to HIS purpose to help lead others into finally seeing what they have not been able to see because of their inability to let go. Even though we have been broken and we are not worthy of the Grace of God... God is still willing to redirect and
help to REFOCUS our eyes on HIM and HIS plans. God is in the Optometrist business.
God is able to give us VISION tests and help to correct the things in our lives that may be causing our vision to be blurred. God is able to correct our farsighted or nearsightedness and help us to bring our vision back into focus to help accomplish God's perfect plan. But we have to be wiling to allow the GREAT PHYSICIAN to do His work and correct the astigmatisms that have caused our vision to be distorted. We must pray for the ability to allow God's vision to become our vision and that is not easy. It takes humility... it takes grace and in some instances it takes a complete life overhaul. Are you ready to see more clearly? Are you ready to stop focusing on you and start focusing on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our FAITH, and realize that it is ALL going to work out for the Glory of God.