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Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

27 October 2013

HOPE, A Matter of Focus 10-27-13

In March, our son's girlfriend came home with him for their college spring break. Toward the end of that week, we all traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to meet up half-way with her family (from the Atlanta, Georgia area). We visited the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, enjoying the beautiful plants, ponds, waterfalls, architecture, shops & more. We sat down for a treat at a little cafe' and, I snapped two quick pictures of what I was enjoying. Later when I looked closely at the pictures, I could see a distinct difference.
In the first picture, the ice cream was clearly in focus.
In the second photo, the beautiful scenery was in focus.
And the ice cream appeared blury!
Toward the end of May, the iris plants outside my front door were in full bloom & beautiful. I snapped a few quick shots of them one day as a rain storm was approaching. When I went to view those pictures, I was reminded of the ice cream photos I'd taken in the spring. A similar thing had happened again.

The beautiful iris blooms were in focus in the first pic.
The pending storm was in focus in the second shot.
And the beautiful blooms were totally out of focus.
Both times I thought about how our focus makes all the difference in many of life's situations. These two separate times gave me two examples - one where the background was a thing of beauty; the other where the background was something not so beautiful. 

It's amazing that the human response to certain life situations is dependent upon the main area of our focus. 
  • Are we focused so intently on the very next step and missing the beauty & hope that can be seen off in the distance?
  • Are we only dreading what the future will hold or an event coming up (i.e. a surgery, the progression of an illness, etc.) & miss out on the beauty God has placed right in front of us that very moment or day?
  • Do we limit ourselves by focusing on the little good things around us & fail to be hopeful for, thankful for & encouraged by some of the beauty that can be seen down the road?
It's really a matter of balance. To be in balance, I believe we need to make a conscious effort to allow God to direct our eyes as we move down life's path. He wants us to stop & smell the roses from time to time. And, He wants us to see danger or changes down the path & prepare OR possibly change our course. He wants us to enjoy the joys of the day, yet keep looking ahead for more things from Him.

I am so thankful that I can have an intimate relationship with God - not one where I meet Him once a week at a church then wait 6 days to be back in His presence. I'm thankful that we can "chat" with God 24/7. I want God to open the eyes of my heart to what He wants me to focus upon each day... each moment! He holds the future & He holds my hand!

For this realm, we tend to focus more on one thing and disregard what is out of focus. When we get to heaven, I believe that we'll see it all in a seamless fashion. That gives me hope. Not just when I get to heaven but, for here on earth as I walk in communion with God.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Linking October 2013 with The Nesting Place
 for the 31-day Challenge

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