Re-Focus

Two years ago I wrote a post about my broken breadmaker. I called it Sometimes you throw it out, sometimes you fix it. Unknown-1

It had the most views of all the posts I have made so I decided to go back to it and do some editing on it. I had written about how my breadmaker let me down and I carried it to the garage. Then I reflected on the relationship I had had with my breadmaker. I transitioned in to how I treat my human relationships the same as I do my material possessions especially the toxic ones. I am embarrassed to admit that I do that – as if people are disposable. I am also proud to confess that I am more aware of my actions and have grown in that area.

After spending hours of how to rewrite that post, I realize that I do not believe you can compare human relationships to a kitchen appliance. I can not redo that post or add anything to that. My life has a new focus.

UnknownI still don’t like getting hurt but I am aware that when I feel injured by others actions that it comes from a place of emptiness for them. I believe that everyone has a story and that their story makes our world a better place. Unfortunately, some of the best stories are created out of pain. Where a person has their focus is the place that directs the path of pain. If the focus is on Jesus, He can create miracles in the pain. If the focus is on the pain itself, everyone is miserable.

Out of my pain over the past few years, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world. I used to believe that people can never change. I thought there was nothing I could do if they wanted to be miserable.  I now believe that if a person refocuses their vision anything is possible. I, also, believe I can play a part in helping them refocus through being a vessel of God’s love.

A few years ago wearing the  WWJD bracelet was popular. What would Jesus do? Those four words can redirect my focus almost instantaneously.

I am beginning to recognize my flawed beliefs. It is not my place to change people. The Holy Spirit will do that.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ASV)Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

It is my place to focus on Jesus and to allow His life to flow through me to others.

UnknownWhen I am not wearing my corrective lenses and I  start cleaning the house, I am bound to do surface cleaning. Later when I put my contacts in, I see clearly how I have missed certain spaces in each room.

In the same way I need to keep my focus on Jesus so that I can see clearly through the lens of His love.

I have walked this journey with Jesus long enough to know that if I keep my eyes on Him, He will lead me to the areas of my life that need cleaning. And He will place the right people into my life that will make that happen. Some of them will be pleasant to be with and others will be a challenge. I heard recently that nothing changes in the comfort zone. I want to allow God to be in control and guide me on the way. Even if it is uncomfortable. As I journey on the path of  life, I want to have the courage to have renewed focus and see every situation through the lens of God’s love.

Psalm 119:105 (MSG) By your words I can see where I’m going;they throw a beam of light on my dark path.

Prayer of Jabez complete

I was so sure I would gain some magical revelation after 31 days of praying the prayer of Jabez.

Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: “Bless me, O bless me! Give me land, large tracts of land. And provide your personal protection—don’t let evil hurt me.” God gave him what he asked.

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I would like to think I have changed after believing that God would give me what I asked for, but the changes have been so subtle it hard to see them. As long as I believe that God will protect me and provide for me, I am more willing to part with my material possessions. I am more willing to take risks in relationships and more bold in declaring the promises of God.

When I take my eyes of off God, I begin to panic. I judge myself for being foolish. I want to protect my household on my own. I want to control my finances. And I worry over what the future holds for disciples of Jesus.

At the end of his book, Bruce Wilkinson, challenges his reader to make the Jabez prayer a part of the daily fabric of their life. He says the praying person will experience significant changes in their life. Then he warns that nothing will happen without believing in God’s power. He encourages his reader to ask God to help them see the divine appointments that He puts in their path.

I have had many divine appointments over the past months, but I don’t always see them as opportunities. I have come to this conclusion. God is God. He is the same in blessing and in pain. Sometimes it is easier to see Him when I am in pain.

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As we move in to a New Year, it seems the perfect time to reflect on some of these opportunities. I am still mourning the loss of my baby foster daughter, but I am friends with her parents. I am proud to help them set up their own apartment. I am thrilled to take them to church and to watch their spiritual growth as they walk through an incredibly painful and stretching time. And I especially enjoy holding her occasionally when I have the day off and the parents have a visit. I am honoured that they allow me to be a part of her life even though she is not in my care anymore.

For many years I have had a heart for the children who are apprehended by CFS and are left to grow up in a broken system of child rearing. But now I have a tender heart for the parents who lose their children to CFS. I have had a glimpse of the challenges of turning a life of addiction into a healthy lifestyle that can support the raising of children.

I have not enjoyed watching my parents lose their mobility and ability to make decisions that control their lives. But I have enjoyed the time I spend with them. I feel rewarded that after so many years of waiting for them to be “not be busy”, I can just sit and be with them.

Did I say this stage of life is easy? It is not easy. It is, however, rewarding because every day I see how God sustains and holds each of His children. It is when life challenges overwhelm me that I find myself pleading out for the evidence of God and He never fails to provide just what I need to move forward on my journey.

So I guess God is not a genie that dispenses whatever I ask for depending on my whim for that day. He certainly is in control and gives me everything I need as I obey Him.

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I have done a lot of thinking about my writing over the past few weeks. If I am just writing for myself, I can keep a journal in my nightstand. If I believe my writing can and is making an impact on at least one of my readers than I need to plan better and create a blog that is worth looking at. If you have been touched by my words please let me know. If you think your friends could be encouraged by my words, please invite them to read my blog. If you would like the convenience of receiving my posts in your mailbox, please fill out the subscription form below.

I will be back in two weeks with an update on my journey on the path of life.

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