A Matter of Focus
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
We are a society of do-ers. Busy, busy, busy characterizes our days…at least until we drop in our tracks from exhaustion and burnout. Who doesn’t long for that rare pajama day, cuddled up on the couch with a good book or lounging in front of a good movie? Then why do we feel guilty when we actually do it? Somehow, our sense of value and self-worth has gotten tied to what we do instead of who – and whose – we are. So it is no surprise that, coming off a weekend of not doing much, I was feeling pretty ineffective and starting to question my value, my sphere of influence and my effectiveness. In the grand scheme of things, I was feeling pretty small. This is not my first rodeo with this type of thing, so I knew better than to say, “Lord, show me where I am actually valuable in this world.” But I did confess to Him that I was feeling particularly ineffective.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that when I am questioning my own worth, the object of my focus is...me! As long as I keep my eyes on God, I never even think to question my value in this world because I am seeing everything through the lens of His love, which tells me I am valuable to Him beyond measure. It is only when I become self-focused that doubts and self-critical thoughts start creeping up on me.
God loves you more than you can imagine or even comprehend. This world lacks the words or means to convey the depth and breadth of His love for you. If you are having a crisis of belief in His love, or if you are questioning your own self-worth, first, remember that Jesus gave His life so you could live with Him in eternity. That speaks to how highly He values you. Then, pray and ask Him to help you receive and experience His love. As you seek Him, press in and ask Him to open the eyes of your heart, and He will overwhelm you, enfold you and suffuse you with a love like you have never known was even possible. It is honestly the sweetest thing I know and is what keeps me coming back to Him day after day. It may not happen immediately, but if you persist and show Him you are serious, it will be so worth your effort, and you’ll never be the same again.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for always being so faithful to show me the better way when I become self-focused instead of focusing on You. Through the lens of Your love, everything makes more sense. My cares and concerns fade into the background as the glory of Your love touches me, heals me and completes me. All that matters is You. Please reveal Yourself and Your love more fully to me as I seek You. I love you and praise you in Jesus’ holy name, amen.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
“’Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:40-42
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6