Focus

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Calling 911 and telling the operator our propane tank was leaking put a lot of things into perspective. But first, let me explain something.

The coronavirus is a thief and has been trying to steal my focus. (Is it trying to steal yours? Your peace?)

I was finally going to my first writer’s conference in Georgia at the end of March. I’d been hoping and praying about conferences for years, knowing it’s the best way to meet an agent.

Of course, roadblocks popped up in front of me concerning this conference, so I prayed about each one. And I watched as God made a way for me, removing each roadblock. (Conference cost, plane ticket cost, traveling alone, hotel cost, and our daughter’s school schedule – God provided through some lovely individuals who blessed me beyond words.)

But then came the coronavirus. (You know, the one we keep seeing pictures of, those little blobs floating around wearing spikes – a synonym for corona, by the way, and according to my medical dictionary, is “crown”). And so the conference was canceled.

I’m being honest here. I fell apart. I sobbed and questioned why God would move all of the other roadblocks and yet allow this one to stay. I wondered if I should still go to Georgia; if I might bump into the agent I was hoping to meet. When I asked God, I heard in my spirit:

Don’t look for the agent, look for Me.

So when this virus began stealing everyone’s focus, I fought to look for God. (Not an easy task when the focus of the world all around seems to be on this virus!) I looked for God and saw Him in some pretty amazing ways. (Just look at the surge of scripture on social media!) But I had no idea I would see Him the way I did yesterday:

I realized I’d left our mudroom light on while backing out of the garage, so my daughter got out of the car to turn it off. That’s when we smelled it. I didn’t know what it was, but when she said it smelled like eggs, I knew I needed to check our propane tank.

Our propane tank was hissing and the smell was strong. I rushed back to the car, called 911, and drove to the end of our driveway.

Silence. I watched our house in the rearview mirror as we sat in the car and waited for the fire department.  And I cried out to God to protect everyone and our home, my voice breaking, the words falling short.

But I was looking for Him. In that moment of complete helplessness, I looked for God in that moment and cried out to Him.

And He showed up.

He came with the roaring siren of a fire truck and four firemen to turn off the tank and inspect our home. God protected everyone involved, and He kept our home safe. And when I walked side by side with those firemen back into the house, I knew God was already inside and everything was going to be okay.

When things leave us holding our breath, anticipating tragedy, look for God, my friends, and cry out to Him. Don’t allow those microscopic blobs wearing their tiny crowns to steal your focus or your peace.

Fix your eyes on the King of Kings who wears many crowns and has you in the palm of His hand.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV.)

“His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.” (Revelation 19:12a NIV.)

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28 NIV.)

“That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13 MSG.)

(Photo from pexels.com.)

8 thoughts on “Focus

    1. Thank YOU for reading and commenting, Peggy. He sure is in control! Yes, we must keep our eyes on Him. God bless you too, my friend! 🙂

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  1. Thank you Joey. As always, you have blessed me. I have been focused on everything but God this week. My husband and daughter missed coming home to us by a day so they are now 4,000 miles away with no immediate prospect of being allowed here or us to them. And in all the big stuff, I have had a similar sense of disappointment to your conference dream- a small writing hope that I suspect won’t happen now. I feel guilty for even minding with what’s going on but our hopes and dreams are still important, even if we must put things on hold. Perspective and acceptance have certainly taken a while to catch up with me! So glad your house and family are safe. May your dreams come true and your focus stay trained on Jesus x

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  2. Bless your heart. First, I completely understand! It’s so hard to focus on God with all that’s happening. We have to fight to fix our eyes on Him when the world is jumping up and down, shouting, “Look here! Look over here!” But we can do it…when I whisper “Jesus” I feel closer to Him and my focus returns. Keep calling out to Him! And oh my goodness, I am SO truly sorry your husband and daughter are so far away. I pray God will comfort each one of you as He wraps His great big arms around you and them, bringing you closer to Him and each other in ways that only He can accomplish. And I’m sorry you’ve had a similar disappointment with your writing! You know, I felt guilty too, worrying about the conference when so many other “big things” are happening. But like you said, our dreams are important too, especially when we know they are God-driven. Don’t lose hope, my dear Sister in Christ! Joshua I:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God is with your precious family and you so there is nothing to fear and don’t let discouragement take root. I’ve recently started praying for God to redeem this time, for Him to bring good out of all of this (Romans 8:28) in such ways that the whole world will know it’s Him! So in the meantime, dear Sister, rest in His arms and know something good is coming from all of this and that God has you and your family wrapped up in His loving care! And who knows? Maybe bigger hopes and dreams or even hidden desires of our hearts will be fulfilled, and you and I will be able to look back and see what amazing, good things God has done. (He is such a good, good Father!) Maybe one day we will even laugh (as Sarah did) when we see how He fulfilled such longings in our hearts. 🙂 Just know I’m sending you a great big hug today, and God has you!!

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