The Forest for the Trees

in-the-forest-13835783920BqSometimes we can just get in a funk. Our focus gets fixed on the challenges of our circumstances and the result is a bad attitude. Our eyes direct our brain which lies to our heart and we are sour from the inside out. We can’t see the way out as we’re so fixed on the barriers. We’re stuck.

I’ve found myself stuck at times. I’ve allowed the focus to be the barriers which resulted in an internal struggle which becomes funk producing if not just flat-out depressing. During one of those times, Julie (my bride), texted me a verse that she felt was applicable. When Julie does that, it’s a product of her incredible relationship with our living God. He shows her stuff and she shares it. How fortunate am I to have a bride like that?

The verse she sent was Mark 10:51, in which Jesus encounters a blind beggar, “And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” The next verse tells us that “Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.”

A few things jumped out to me as timely and applicable in my season of struggle:

  1. Jesus asks the man without any apparent presumption
  2. The man knew exactly what he wanted
  3. Jesus attributes the man’s faith to the healing
  4. The man’s resulting behavior was to follow Jesus

Jesus invites us to consider what we want and to ask Him for it. Without us considering what we want and asking, we likely won’t credit Him with answers to our prayers. We need to know what we want and not be afraid to ask for it. This knowing takes our eyes off of the barriers and turns our attention to Him. Our experience with Him in the conversation leading up to the prayer and answers to prayer grow our faith and we follow Him.

James 4:2-3 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”

When our passions align with His purposes and advance our walk with Him, we can go boldly to the throne to present the desires of our heart. We can approach Him focused on His  goodness and faithfulness fixed on the destination with Him and not the barriers to our comfort. Our faith is strengthened even in the asking and our attitude is changed by the hope of His promise.

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