Keep Your Focus

Like you – I am tired of this whole pandemic nightmare.  My personal Facebook news feed this week is filled with conspiracy theories – local and global.  People shredding and accusing looking for someone to blame.  As hard as it is, I am choosing to keep my focus on Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.”  None of us know exactly how this pandemic came to be, but God is allowing us to go through this trial to perfect our faith.  None of us know the details of how this pandemic came to be or how and when it will end.  But this I do know:  I (we) have to walk through this holding onto God’s hand.  Keep your focus and don’t lose sight of Him.

Be encouraged today, He is on the throne, He will not leave us alone.  Allow Him to do what He needs to do in you and those around you.

The Marker of a Disciple

Yes, Abba, I tend to be more than just a little bit judgmental: always looking for the flaws, sins, and shortcomings of others. Lord, help me to change my focus: to see others through your eyes of compassion and grace.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

Temporary Afflictions

Tonight I had a profoundly moving pity party. Like a lot of people, I am tired of the inconvenience and awkwardness isolation has caused in our lives. After cutting my thumb tonight, I fell apart and sobbed. I whined about the arrows on the floor of the grocery I store that kept an orderly flow of traffic. I cried about going to church tomorrow in a parking lot. Feeling very sorry for myself, I wrote a lot about my tale of woe and suffering. Then quietly, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “really”?
During this global pandemic, many people are no doubt inconvenienced. This inconvenience pales in comparison to the tireless efforts of healthcare workers and others on the front lines of this battle. And, let us not forget the families who have lost loved ones to or are coping with the virus. Indeed, the inconvenience of those who are still healthy is not a primary concern. In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, the Apostle Paul says, “For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (CSB). Right now, we are only enduring a momentary light affliction.
Tomorrow, along with my church family, municipal leaders, and invited law enforcement, our local church will have our service in the parking lot. The whole thing is weird and awkward. But, if Jesus endured the cross for me, can’t I take the weird and awkward for Him? In 1 Peter 1:3, we are told, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy [,] he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (CSB). Church in the parking lot is temporary. The hope we have in Jesus is eternal. In this time of momentary affliction, I choose to focus on the eternal. What will be your focus?

There Are No Small Things In the Kingdom of God

There are no small things in the kingdom of God.  Listening to Pastor Luke Frechette’s 2020 Palm Sunday video during a global pandemic, this statement cut to the heart.  You see, God told me years ago to create a blog and begin writing.  I was obedient, sort of.  I secured the domain name, created a logo (branding is essential, right?).  Like Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3 and 4, I can provide a long list of reasons why God should look elsewhere:

  • I don’t know how to write.
  • Who would want to listen to me?
  • Can I write under a pseudonym?  I want to share my heart, but I don’t want people to know me. 
  • I don’t have anything of value to add.

I have an endless list of justifications for my disobedience to God.  As I sit here today, it is taking everything within me to post this, to accept that “good enough” is permissible. I want a plan.  But, God doesn’t give us the next step of the program or the interim goals.  God is a God of progressive revelation (again, hats off to you, Pastor Luke).  We simply get to do it one step at a time, not knowing what is coming next.  As soon as we are obedient to the first step He has given us, then He will provide us with the next. 

Today I stand before God and each of you repenting of my rebellion.  I don’t know what God wants to do with Aging Awkwardly.  But if it touches one heart, just one person, that’s OK.  Because there are no small things in the kingdom of God. 

“But I consider my life of no value to myself;

My purpose is finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus,

To testify to the gospel of God’s grace.”

Acts 20:24 (CSB)