Sometimes when you’ve been walking a path with God for a while it gets hard to stay focused on the end goal. Sometimes during the walk you kind of “forget” what it is that God has called you to and you start to imagine your own version of the end goal. This often happens to me, especially when it comes to being a missionary. My ideal and where God wants me right now doesn’t match up right now, but I have learnt to stay focused on God and what being a missionary as Katherine looks like – it’s certainly not a mud hut with a flushing toilet in the middle of central Africa. It’s serving Him where I am now, in my community so that I can be used to bring His Kingdom to earth.
I remember a story of a swimmer, I think who wanted to swim across a great distance. They trained like made to do it and though they were well prepared for it. On the day of the race it was very misty, so misty that you couldn’t see 1m in front of you. They started out strong but when they were almost finished they gave up because they grew tired. They thought that they still had miles to go, but because they couldn’t see how close the end was they gave up. The story then ends with her attempting the swim again and succeeds. The giving up part happens so easily – you push and you push and you push for what seems like ages and then you get the point of “I can’t anymore” and we give up. Often the giving up happens when we’re just about almost there. I kind of Imagine Jesus watching me and all the angels cheering you on – screaming; “you’re almost there!” “Just one more kilometer!” “Just one more step!” “You’ve got this!” The only thing missing is I need to hear them…
I think that when we’re unable to see the end, or the way out of the storm in our lives it’s hard to zone back into God. I think it’s easier to focus on the storm because it’s right there blocking our view and ears from God. The question is then, how do we shift our focus? The obvious answer is to choose to look away. Practically this means that look at all the good things God has done or is currently doing around you. We thank Him for this. If you can’t think of something to be thankful in your situation think of previous times He’s helped you or blessed you, or even thank Him for what He is going to do. We can also praise and rejoice God in the situation. I learnt one morning, earlier this week while reading a book called, Strengthen yourself in the Lord by Bill Johnson, that rejoicing is praising God for who He is no matter the circumstance. When you praise, or worship God it allows you to change your focus from what’s oppressing you to God, which then allows God to work in your heart and life, bringing Kingdom breakthrough. How cool is that? Now all I need to do is put in practice in my life. What I’m trying to do each morning is just say thanks to God for what He’s done or has done and now I want to add some worship to it.
Hebrews 12:1 – 3 really encourages me when it comes to pushing through “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Jesus made it through the race so I’m pretty sure we can also make through… we just need to keep tapping into Him to regain our strength.