Read with me, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2
This past Thursday my daughter had a seizure. One minute she was fine, the next she wasn’t. She is only 10. I still can’t wrap my head around it. My healthy daughter. My god-fearing, praying daughter. I remember thinking this shouldn’t be allowed to happen to us. Come on! MY daughter. My DAUGHTER. A seizure. In the face of stark reality I thought “Now what?” She’s too young, I’m too scared, we’re not prepared, and I don’t know where to go. She asked me to pray for her. I witnessed abject fear and uncertainty in her request. This was the physical reality in that moment.
As I prayed words were lacking, but all I could think to pray was “Jesus, help me keep You in my sight.” Because I know if I lower my crosshairs from His face, I am lost. From past experiences I understand that hopelessness tends to fester in the muck that is unbelief. Losing focus means losing the race. When you find yourself struggling it is helpful to remember to keep your eyes on Him, the author of your faith. Fixed, and focused. Fear was present, but so was an unwavering expectation of His goodness. We have to confront the lie that we are on our own, and purposefully expect Him to do good things. Say it with me, “I expect good things to happen today.” And He did good, she recovered miraculously quickly. The palsy left, the slur went away, and the incoherence cleared up speedily. His touch always brings relief.
When I feel faced by challenging circumstances, I like to ask myself what exactly is being challenged? Is it my faith, or might it be my perspective? Might I be struggling because I have lost sight of what I believe about Him in the face of opposing reality? Challenging times are perfect opportunities to lean into His voice, seek out His heart, and learn His intentions for you, though these are ironically the very moments we choose to withdraw. We deter our own hearts from faith, lower the scope, limiting our sights to what is in front of us. The moment we withdraw in fear or doubt, shame assaults us and we found ourselves bound by a burden we can barely shoulder. There goes our faith, our hope, our joy, our trust, and our discernment.
His ways are good, His intentions innocent, His purposes righteous, His heart pure, His integrity intact, His hand gentle, His gaze loving and His actions redemptive. Read that again. He is in the redemption business. For freedom we were set free. We are not meant for bondage. Dependence is forged in the furnace of desperation, not necessarily in bondage. When desperate, learn to depend on Him with expectation. Dependence involves freedom, bondage does not. You are not a slave to your circumstances, but free to seek Him in those circumstances. God did not, NOT place you under duress for a specific outcome unknown to you. You are neither His pawn, nor the irrelevant participator in a mystical fight between spirits. You have been made with care. Such immense planning went into your design, that scientists are still today experiencing the wonderful privilege of discovery of your extravagance and beauty. You are phenomenal. Created with intent, thought out, planned, dreamt up, innervated with energy, alive.
Not one bad moment, one less than stellar day, one accusation, one defeat, one misunderstanding, one unpaid bill, or half another person’s opinion can separate you from His good intentions. He is not easily swayed, never once has He been dissuaded from His intentional pursuit of your heart. He is after you. He is for you. He is good.
Lift your eyes, weary one. Raise your face to the Son. Behold the One who holds your tomorrow. Lock eyes with the One who loves you. Pray. Seek. Know. His heart is not hidden from you. He makes all things new, today. Believe He is a rewarded of them that seek. Be encouraged to live again. I need you to see, He is good. I need you to remember all His good benefits. Take courage as your heart hopes in the One who is trustworthy.