Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Shift Your Focus

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
Psalm 42:11

I walked out of my Physical Therapist's office, keys in hand feeling only slightly better than I had when I walked in. I'd spent a greater part of my visit whining and complaining to my therapist. Things were just moving so slowly. That morning when I woke up, I could barely walk out of my bedroom without holding onto furniture and the walls. I was just so frustrated! I looked down at my keys, my eyes resting on the key chain I was holding.


I remember right then that Hope is actually the word the Lord gave me for 2016. How appropriate! I've been struggling with that ever since the beginning of the year!! Guess He knew before I did that I would need to be reminded often to be hopeful.

He's telling me - again - by way of my key chain, not to give up hope.  Hope is all I have right now because my body is not giving any indication that it will work the way it's supposed to any time soon!

Right now, my hope is that some time in my near future I will be able to attend a Zumba class again and last through the entire class. I'm also hopeful that some time in my near future, I will be able to walk 3 miles all at once again. I'm also hopeful that some time in my near future, I will get out of bed in the morning without any pain slowing me down.

My PT says those things will happen, but some days it's hard for me to believe that. It's going on 6 months now. This recovery has been so slow and so frustrating and there are days when the pain really gets me down.  Yet, I also know, in the grand scheme of things, this is actually a minor thing. There are people out there with life-threatening diseases and illnesses much, much worse than what I'm dealing with.

But right now this is my reality and I know I need to learn how to access a lot more grace than what I'm walking in at the moment.

Don't know how many of you remember the 1980 movie, Private Benjamin, starring Goldie Hawn. It was about a spoiled rich girl who joined the army (have no idea why!) and even though I never saw the movie, I remember a scene from the trailer showing her out on guard duty one night in the pouring rain. She had her helmet on, but her hair was hanging limply, soaking wet, rain splattered all over her face and she's marching in thick mud. As she marches, she is whining, "I want to wear my sandals again! I want to go out to lunch! I want to be normal again!"

Well, this is how I saw myself the other day, minus the army suit and helmet, and pouring rain.

I want to go to Zumba!
I want to walk 3 miles at one time!
I want to get up in the morning pain-free!
I want to be able to work in my garden and take care of my flowers!
I want to be able to lay in my hammock and read a book!
I want to do what I want to do without having to give any thought as to how it's going
to affect my body!
I want to be normal again!

I sound like a spoiled brat, don't I?

But, haven't you ever just felt that way about something? You just want what you want and your every effort is thwarted!!!

I guess, at my age, I should just be grateful I'm still moving, huh??!! But I want what I hope for to become reality in my life!


"Find rest, O my soul, in god alone; my hope comes from him."
Psalm 62:5


There can be no rest for a soul that is whining and complaining, huh? There can be no rest for a soul that wants her own way and refuses to trust that God knows best. The Scripture says, "find rest in god alone. Find rest in God alone, even when you can't find rest in your situation, especially when you can't find rest in your situation.

And then I'm reminded that Scripture admonishes us to praise God in all things, not just some things, but ALL things. And I'm reminded that contrary to what I might believe on any given day, it really is not all about me. It's all about Him! I'm reminded again that my focus needs to shift.

Something remarkable happens when I begin to shift my focus onto Him and praise Him. Truly, it does! I was feeling sorry for myself in church on Sunday and as we started to worship the Lord, I sensed the Lord telling me to take a step of faith toward Him and step out. So I did. I walked up to the altar and worshiped Him there for the remainder of our worship time. I left church with a whole new perspective. Something shifted - my focus! It was lifted up to see Him!

My focus was shifted to see Him - the One alone in whom my soul finds rest. The One alone in whom my hope is.

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