I always believed I was a person who lacked the ability to focus. My mind would wander from one thing to another, I would seldom finish things that I started and this left me feeling overwhelmed. My husband is my opposite, they do say it happens that way. He is driven. If he starts something, he will most certainly finish it and do it well. Sometimes this has caused conflict because he comes behind me, seeing the dishwasher half emptied or the dustpan still containing dirt, and he takes it upon himself to help me out and finish the job. This in turn makes me feel as though he’s shining a light on my undone tasks and I get irritated. At any rate, I’ve recently discovered that its not my inability to focus that’s the problem, but in fact, my ability to focus entirely on the wrong things.
In the example of my husband finishing up my chores, I don’t look at the heart behind the help, I concentrate on the message that I am not doing enough, I’m dropping the ball. That’s just an example of how when we focus on the wrong things, we lose sight of what it truly important. I’ve seen it many times at our kitchen table as well. Siblings sitting together, all working on different lessons but all working toward the goal of getting things done for the day so they can have free time. One will lose focus and start making noises, soon to be followed by their neighbor and before you know it, I’m telling them to ‘focus on what you’re supposed to be doing!’ I don’t feel qualified to tell them that but I’m the parent/teacher so what can I do?
When we were in the hospital during each of our daughter’s three open heart surgeries, we had struggles with where our focus would lie. In the midst of all of the beeping monitors, medication pumps, and the story the numbers would tell the doctors, it became hard at times to focus on the One who calms our storms. Fear would creep in, and in being honest, I would become focused on what could possibly go wrong instead of what God could do in the middle of that desperate situation. And things did get desperate. We were in need of miracles most days, I could compile a long list of times when we were told ‘there is no hope’ and how we would need to refocus on the truth that God can work things out for our good in any situation.
The truth is often silent. We can’t confuse it with the facts. The facts are often contrary to the truth, which is what God says. Sometimes our circumstances say there’s no possible way that anything good can come out of this, yet God works well with impossibility. They say that numbers don’t lie but God neither does God and He can make a way for your financial miracle, a way that you could never dream up on your own. The medical report may speak of death and hopelessness, but God is the One who gives hope, He restores sight to the blind and heals all of our infirmities.
The question is, where does our focus lie? In the bad reports? Or in the One who meets all of our needs?
In Numbers 13, Moses sent some men to explore the land of Canaan, the land they were supposed to inherit. When they returned, they spoke of the goodness of the land, but they spent more time discussing the size and power of the people they would have to overthrow to take the land. They were concerned that the greatness of the people would prevent them from receiving the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb, however, were certain they could do it. The men argued with them, they gave them the reasons they felt it would be a death mission, but they remained confident that it was a battle that had already been awarded them.
They were focused on two different things. The majority on the greatness of the enemy, and the minority on the greatness of God. Focusing on the right thing gave Joshua and Caleb the confidence to be bold in the face of a great enemy, and in a circumstance that by our natural eyes seemed would surely go against them.
Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.”
My ability to focus was not the issue, where my focus was directed was. Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him in all things, even when the facts tempt you to believe otherwise.