Fix Your Eyes
Day 16– September 6, 2018
By Jill Parker
In October 2017 my world turned upside down when my husband and I separated after 18 years of marriage. This was not what I wanted. Not what I had planned. But despite my plans, the separation occurred, and divorce now looms. How could this happen? I mean, this is the kind of thing that happens to other people, right?
And just like that, in the midst of all of the confusion and change, God showed up in the form of His hands and feet: His children. I received countless phone calls, letters, cards, encouraging words, and text messages. Despite my profession and personality, I am a fairly private person. I asked for help from my Sunday School class, my family, and close friends, but did not speak openly about it in an effort to maintain privacy for the sake of my children. I was prayed over by my Sunday School class and my family was very supportive and encouraging.
But the absolute best part was when God revealed just how big He is. He orchestrated numerous and varied people to show me extra compassion and care. Most impressive were the ones who did not even know my situation but felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to reach out to me. In the beginning, I kept track of the number of days that I received a special moment from my heavenly Father but decided after day 120 or so that I no longer needed to count. I realized that God had been doing this all along, but it took my desperate circumstances and my need for Him to notice.
In fact, one day I had an epiphany about God’s character. Even though I have been in church my whole life and have heard about who God is, there is a vast difference between hearing and knowing. Despite my many years of being a practicing follower of Christ, I now know deep down that He was always there. He was there when my heart was broken. He was there when I cried out in despair. He was there when I was lost, lonely, and confused. And, most impressive, He still is. I can never adequately express my gratitude for His loving-kindness to me through all of you (the Body of Christ).
Which leads me to my current situation. Lately I have been contemplating:
- What does this painful situation mean about me? Am I a failure? God’s answer: I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3.
- Will the pain ever go away? How do I rebuild my life as a single mom instead of a married woman? God’s answer: He has sent me to bind upthe brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3.
- Who do I want to be now? God’s answer: A person of integrity. He who walks with integrity walks securely. Proverbs 10:9.
- What does integrity look like in my life? God’s answer: In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8. And: Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. 2 Corinthians 1:12.
- And, most importantly, how do I navigate the tricky waters of this new life that I didn’t plan on? God’s answer: Fix my eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2.
What situation is going on in your life right now that is making it difficult to fix your eyes on Jesus? Are you allowing God to use the situation to bring you closer to Him? Consider praying for single-minded focus to keep your eyes fixed on His will for your life.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith… Hebrews 12:1-2