Two weeks ago, our littlest learned to ride her bike.
She’d been on bicycle-riding strike for several months, ever since her daddy took her training wheels off. He knew she was ready and hoped a gentle push would help her learn to ride on her own. For a while, she wasn’t having it. Until two weeks ago, when she finally decided to give it a try.
And she got it.
She was so ready. On Monday she rode several feet without help. On Tuesday she learned to turn the bike around in one smooth-ish motion. On Wednesday she perfected starting and stopping. And by the weekend, she was riding like a pro.
As I watched my husband coach her on bike-riding safety, one of his comments struck a chord in my heart. “Don’t look at the building you’re trying to avoid, or you’ll run into it. Keep your eyes on where you’re going.”
I needed that advice.
Because right now, I’m awfully tempted to stare at the madness surrounding us. I literally had to talk myself out of panicking during a recent trip to the grocery store. All those empty shelves. All those scurrying people. The what-if’s pressed in and with them, the fear.
I’ve never experienced uncertainty to this level before.
There’s nothing like a worldwide pandemic to make me realize how much I worship comfort and normality. To help me see that my soul’s peace is tangled up in predictable circumstances and a sense of being in control.
As the country started shutting down, I grabbed my journal and began processing my roller coaster emotions with God. After I poured out my heart to Him, He led me to Hebrews 12:1-3:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (emphasis mine).
In these unstable times, God is calling His beloved ones to fix our attention on Jesus.
In the Bible’s original Greek, fixing one’s eyes means
“To turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.”Blue Letter Bible LexiconThere are lots of things we could fixate on right how – all the virtual voices shouting their opinions, all the conflicting information, all the many emotions raging within.
I don’t know about you, but my feelings have run the gamut over the past two weeks. I’ve been confused, afraid, and overwhelmed. I’ve felt happy to stay at home and thrilled with the extra family time. I’ve been bored, depressed, and restless. Today I’m just plain weary.
Lots of things are vying for our attention.
So like my little bicyclist with her gaze straight ahead, I’m choosing to glance at what’s going on around and within – listening to the news reports, heeding the CDC’s directives, working through my emotions with God – but then I’m turning my heart’s focus back to Jesus.
Not that it’s easy. But it is a conscious choice. One that takes coming back to, day after very long day, moment after mundane moment.
Because really, how we walk through these days is a matter of faith.
Will we choose to bring our fears and our feelings to God? Will we hold onto the promises of His Word? Will we focus on Jesus and trust His heart and His plan?
He alone can anchor our souls through this storm. So right now, let’s guide our hearts back to rest by looking at Jesus (See Psalm 116:7):
- He is our Source of Peace (Romans 16:20).
- He’s our Helper and the One who sustains us (Psalm 54:4).
- He is our stability through these times (Isaiah 33:6).
- He never changes (James 1:17).
- His steadfast love and faithfulness bookend each day (Psalm 92:2).
- He stores up abundant good things for those who honor Him (Psalm 31:19).
- He will complete the work He’s doing in us (Philippians 1:6).
- He’ll bring good out of absolutely everything that touches His kids’ lives (Romans 8:28).
- He’ll provide for our every need (Philippians 4:19).
- He has the final say, despite unpredictable viruses and even human free will (1 Peter 3:22).
These are strange times, unsettling times. But things are not out of control.
Even now, the unchanging One beckons us to draw near. He wants to strenthen our faith, deepen our relationship with Him, and use us to reveal Himself to the world.
What other qualities of Jesus are you resting in right now? I’d love to hear! Please comment below.