So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Look Up

Once again, a concept that I have heard roughly four gazillion times in my Christian walk suddenly becomes clear. This summer I'm doing Beth Moore's "Steppin' Up" study. On week two, day two (and don't panic if you're in the same study--I'm working ahead because I have vacation coming soon), we are looking at Psalm 123:
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.

The very first verse of the psalm talks about lifting our eyes to the Lord. I've heard that so many times: "Keep your eyes on Jesus." "Look at God, not your circumstances." "Where is your focus?" Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I got it. Apparently I didn't.

Beth takes us to Acts 3, the account about the lame beggar (who was healed) that I blogged about a few weeks ago (gotta love God's continuity). The beggar is just hanging out at the gate when Peter and John show up. Acts 3:3 finds Peter telling the beggar to "Look at us", and then in verse five it says that the man "fixed his attention on them. . . ". Here is how Beth described what happened (p. 43 of the "Steppin' Up" study):
"Therefore, he looked, which caused him to more effectively listen, which in turn altered his feelings, manifesting in a change in his expectation. Needless to say, the beggar got far more than he expected, but until he 'Gave them his attention' he had no real expectation of anything out of the ordinary."
She also puts in a little diagram that looks (somewhat) like this:
Where I look----> What I hear ----> What I feel ----> What I expect
Using the diagram sparked my "aha" moment. I put in a circumstance from my own life, online dating (yes, the idea makes me want to run screaming most days, too. Trust me, the reality is sometimes even worse than you imagine.). The gist of the diagram: If I focus on online dating, what I hear is "This isn't working. No one is interested. You're too. . . (old, short, whatever)." What I feel is frustrated, rejected, and discouraged; and what I expect is nothing. However, if I go back and put the Lord in the first slot, well, it all looks SO much better: If I look to God, then what I hear is "I'm here, I'm in control, you belong to me, and I will take care of you." What I feel is secure, safe, and encouraged; and what I expect is that God will do the very best thing for me.

Once again, "Duh!!!!!"

As I was thinking about this further, I tried thinking through other circumstances. No matter what it was, if I take the problem/worry/concern out from in front of my eyes and put the Lord there instead, it helps me to stand in truth, to feel encouraged and hopeful, and to believe that the Lord will work it all for His good. Glad to know that, on the four gazillion and first hearing, I finally get it.

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