Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Turn your eyes.

"O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?"

The first two lines of the hymn, and my heart cries out, "Yes! Yes! I am troubled and weary by all the darkness that I see."

Just in the last half an hour I have been bombarded with warnings of terrorists taking down America. I am disheartened to "journalists" who are mocking marijuana being illegal, laughing at the thought that it has any real negative impact.

People I know are losing their jobs this week, businesses are closing. I saw our own Vice President touting the idea of being part of a welfare nation as something to be aspired to.

I look at my three kids, ages 20, 13 and 12 and I wonder what kind of future this world holds for them. When I was twenty my husband and I were making some questionable decisions but we were prepared for getting married, we were managing on our own. I cannot begin to imagine that for my son. Last week we offered a training level apprenticeship job and there were people with Masters degrees applying for the job because they cannot make it out in the world doing what they spent years and years educating themselves for.

And even our business is a dinosaur fighting extinction, under the duress of things like Obamacare, and competing with a nation that abuses its people that enables them to offer prices we can never compete with.

Things are a mess. Tough all over is an understatement. And if I focus on all that I see, it is hard not to sink into the darkness of discouragement and despair.

Then I think about the refrain of the hymn as it goes on...

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

And a verse from Psalm 73 comes into my mind in an instant...

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

Oh to live life in such a way that I would be so dearly focused that the darkness that surrounds would not be able to compare to the beauty of the Light that stands before me. It is no simple task, but oh it is the hope of my salvation.

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Father, Father, Father, I pray. Teach me to keep my eyes focused and fixed on You. You have promised You will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on You. (Isaiah 26:3)

We cannot look for light in the world, the Light has made its home within, we are to be the light, to bring the Light. Christ in you, the hope of glory.

It's so easy to get caught up in the cares of this world. To think we ought to find some hope, peace or satisfaction in this life, when the reality is that this life is but a passageway to the real life we have been promised, eternal life with Christ.

Our job here is to glorify God in all... Worship and praise Him from the pit and from the mountain top. Hold to His promise and Word in both victory and defeat. We are on a mission here, not to make our home in this life, but to bring with us those who do not know of the Home in Heaven that waits for those who trust in Christ.

We are on a mission. It is a dark world, and that's why God has sent His light to lead the way.

Father forgive me for all the times I've let the darkness consume me. Help me turn my eyes upon You, so that Your light may illuminate my heart, that I may lead others to the hope, grace and forgiveness I have found in You. In Jesus' name...

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Please help me to remember when I forget....

This morning as I was spending time with the Lord and writing to Him in my prayer journal, I wrote this simple sentence that suddenly reached back up and drew my attention to itself.

"Lord, help me to remember when I forget..."

Suddenly it felt so profound, and the prayer enlarged itself.

Father, when my mind loses focus and I forget who You say I am... help me to remember.

God, when I can't see the light beyond my circumstances, help me to remember Your Word and all Your many promises that have suddenly seemed to forget.

God when I feel lonely or confused, help me to remember what I have clearly forgotten, that You are with me and for me and nothing, absolutely NOTHING can separate me from Your love.

Lord, when I get a little full of myself and prideful about my walk with You, help me to remember from whence I came, and how desperately I still need my Savior just to get through today.

Father, when I forget and focus on the worries of the day and let them consume me, help me remember You said not to worry about tomorrow. Help me to remember You said You would take care of my needs, all of my needs.

Lord, when I get overwhelmed by the world we live in and the things I see, help me remember You are loving and patient and You never tarry. Your timing is perfect.

Father, when my actions indicate I have forgotten my love for You, help me remember me that You love me anyway.

God, when I look back over my yesterdays, recent and long ago, and I am tempted to wallow in my regrets, help me to remember Your sovereignty, and that You have promised to work ALL things together for my good.

God, when I am overwhelmed by my failures and I can't seem to let them go, help me to remember You have chosen to remember them no more.

Father, when I feel lost and out of place in this life of mine, help me to remember this is just a temporary journey, and that I am not home yet.

God when I look in the mirror and I look at my lack, my failure and my fumbles, help me to remember that when You look at me, You see Jesus for I am clothed in His righteousness and not my own.

There's so much to remember Lord, of Your grace, Your goodness and Your blessings...

Help me Father to always keep my eyes on You...

And please help me to remember when I forget.