Just a couple of weeks ago my husband and I were out shopping for a new camera. We were looking at all of the different options and one of them being the optical zoom. I remember my son being particularly fascinated with looking through the camera and focusing on things and then zooming in and out.
I felt God nudging me to remember this moment this morning as I was feeling Him prodding me to remember to stay focused on Him. My prayers this morning included this particular cry, “Oh Lord, may my focus be on You Lord and what You have for me!”
The word focus has been resonating in my mind and I went searching through the scriptures for this word and I found that focus also means: center; the heart…and there in the old and new testament were these words “Love the Lord Your God with all your HEART, with all your soul, with all of your mind.” It is found in Deut 6:5 and Matthew 22:37.
The word is referring to our literal heart in the Greek and I just picture that camera focusing in on what stirs us to act…it is at the center of all we think, feel and do in our day. I so need to be aware of where my heart is and constantly need to take my heart issues to the Lord.
Often times I’ll be honest, I think my heart is doing okay…but when I think about and definitely when I think God is convicting me to think about my heart I realize that there are things connected to my heart that I definitely struggle with…one definitely being my thoughts. And any negative or critical thought s that I have about myself or anyone else definitely communicates a heart issue…
So what am I thinking…I’m not telling (just kidding)—but honestly, the depth of what I am thinking I cannot even put into words and that is between me and God and I can tell you that we talked about it this morning. But I will share that God is definitely bringing me to a place where I can firmly be planted in the soil of His love to grow and prosper regardless of anyone else around me.
Psalm 139 states that He hems me in-behind and before, He has laid His hand upon me; and I do feel like He has gently and lovingly hedged me in with a protective covering of His love. Just as in my flower bed I cannot place the flowers too close together or the roots get entangled and soon one of the flowers gets strangled to death and dies…so I too must have space between me and my fellow sojourners. He has a particular plan for each and every one of us and although He allows are shoulders and lives to touch in beautiful ways…He does not want us to be seeking life and joy from anyone else’s portion of His soil but He wants me to focus on His particular soil set apart just for me. (And yes He has a part set just for you too!)
I am remembering a recent girls’ trip this year where some girlfriends of mine went for a walk on the beach and one friend in particular asked God to bring dolphins So they could see them on the pier. I missed seeing those dolphins because I chose to go have my own walk with the Lord and had the most incredible time with God and was so excited that He sent me ladybugs without me even asking for anything in particular—I just asked for some time with Him. Well you can imagine when I connected back with my girlfriends I felt a little silly—dolphins are much more exceptional than ladybugs in most people’s book and I began to compare my ladybugs with the dolphins. Why? This is such a heart issue and I’m sure it had to break God’s heart because He sent those ladybugs just for me and yet I was left longing for dolphins…
You know God is so gracious and at a future visit to the beach He blessed me tremendously with a spectacle of dolphins and this time I was with my family and I got to share with my boys a great lesson of being careful to not allow our hearts to yearn for what He has for another. My oldest son recognized this right away….when He said, “Yeah mom we shouldn’t covet.” (Why do children seem to just get the simple truths so easily and I feel it takes months of repetitive learning experiences to get it?)
This lesson also repeated itself again in my son’s lives as my youngest son is growing so fast and learning so many new things; so often I see him afraid to venture out because he sees his brother can do so many more things than he can because he is older. I am trying to teach him to not pay attention to what his brother can do; but to focus on what he can do…he looks up to his brother so much and often leans on him for support…but I see little glimpses of him growing and pushing up through the dirt and God is hemming him in; teaching him and just the other day he said with such conviction as he was trying to do something that his brother has already mastered, “God loves me, I can do it!” Those are powerful words from a five year old…words of extreme FOCUS…words that have stuck to my heart!
Praise you Father for the reminder to stay focused on You and Your love for me…
”You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.” (Psalm m119:57-58).
Thank you for reminding me that “You love me and I can do it!”