Yesterday I attended a family picnic and I got ketchup in my hair. My uncle made me a cheeseburger and I topped it with all the fixings – lettuce, tomato, onions, and ketchup. The wind was crazy. I believe what happened was ketchup dripped to my plate and the plate flew into my hair. I remember having to catch it a few times. When that ketchup was in my hair, I could not stop messing with my hair. It became my primary focus. I wanted so badly to get it out of my hair, though I’m sure if I didn’t know it was there I would have been none the wiser.
When we have problems in life we do the same thing too often. We know about the problem and we focus on the problem. We continue to think about the problem. We continue to consider the need to fix the problem. It almost becomes an obsession. If the problem is small, we spend our time figuring out how we will resolve the issue. If it is a bigger issue or something we do not have the means to fix alone, we continue to look at the problem as an impossible hurdle and depression sets in soon after. Sometimes we make ourselves sick as we continue to fixate on our current circumstances.
Just as I should not have been so focused on the ketchup in my hair (it was only a little ketchup and there is a thing called shampoo), we cannot be problem focused. We have a God Who is a God of the impossible. Our focus, whether we have no pressing problems or we are buried knee deep in problems, should always be on God. When He is our focus, when He is first in our life, then our circumstances, our struggles, our problems won’t control us, depress us, or weaken us. Remember, in our weakness, He is strong (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).
In Isaiah 26:3 we read, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” Do you know what is so awesome about that verse? The word keep is “natsar” which means “to watch” or “guard.” The word for peace is “Shalom,” which means “completeness” or “peace.” The word for perfect is also “Shalom.” This verse says if we are fixed on God, if we trust in Him, we will be kept (watched, guarded) so that we are in completeness and peace.
We always say if we have something, we will be forever content. For some people, the something is a someone. For some people, the something is a particular sum of money or a house or some other items. In reality these things are never enough. We always crave for more. We always have this void that only God can fill.
In Isaiah 26, there was mention of a song that would be sung in Judah. It spoke about not being in a hurry, even being “content to linger.” It continued, “Who You are and what You’ve done are all we’ll ever want.” WHO You are and WHAT You’ve done – ALL we’ll ever want.
Can you say that about God today? Can you say that all you’ll ever want is Who He is and What He has done? Can you sing this song? The song continues, “Through the night my soul longs for You. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to You.” I pray that these words are upon your lips today. May your spirit reach out to Him today and always.
“We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger
in the path sign-posted with your decisions.
Who you are and what you’ve done
are all we’ll ever want.”
-Isaiah 26:8 [MSG]