This past week, I have had to give my son a bit more attention than usual. He’s a teenager so he doesn’t usually need so much hands on time for his care. Our time spent together is more talking and chilling. I enjoy those moments, though I occasionally miss the baby days. I cherish these days, watching him grow into a young man, excited to see what God will do next in his life. When he got his wisdom teeth out, I knew following the surgery would be a regression that meant mom would have to step up more.
While I was working from home and checking on him every few hours, making sure he was following the doctor’s orders, etc., I was doing more than I am accustomed to at this stage of my life. I must have run up the stairs a hundred times the first few days. A few days ago, I found myself starting to have sinus issues. My allergies got out of control and I was so busy taking care of my son, that I neglected to address what was happening to me. We do that often as parents. Then we end up with a persistent cough, a lack of energy, and eyes that keep trying to close through the day. Yes, when the oxygen masks fall on the airplane, we are supposed to put our own on first. That’s the only way we can help others on the plane. The jest of the lesson is to care for ourselves first so we can care for others. Now, don’t get all proud and be all you, you, you.
The Bible wants us to care for others. The greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. The Bible also tells us to look out for the best interests of others. I could go on and on. But the Bible also tells us to share our hope, to share what we have learned, to teach our children, to feed the needy, to clothe the naked, to tell the nations, etc. This means we need to take the steps, to be intentional with our spiritual well-being and our spiritual growth. We must always be aware of where we are at spiritually, and always be taking care of those spiritual needs. This includes things like prayer, Bible reading and study, time of rest, mentorship, church participation, service, etc. If we don’t address ourselves and our own needs, we cannot do what God has called us to do in reaching others, influencing others, caring for others, teaching others, etc. Look at your spiritual well-being today. How are you doing?
“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” – Proverbs 4:20-22 [NLT]
Oh everyone makes mistakes. Oh, yes they do; Your sister and your brother and your dad and mother too; Big people, small people, matter of fact, all people! Everyone makes mistakes, so why can’t you?
I used to sing that Sesame Street “Everyone Makes Mistakes” song as a child. It was the first song I learned. When I sing that song (and I still do today), I cannot help but consider Romans 3:23, as this song is definitely a song about us all falling short of the glory of God. No matter where we live, who we are, how young or old, etc., we all fall short. We all are sinners. And we often make mistakes.
Some mistakes can easily be forgiven. Some mistakes cut a little deeper. But no matter what the case, a mistake is a disruption of the glory of God for He cannot look at sin for He is holy. Thankfully God made a way to bridge the gap caused by sin. Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose again so that we could have new life through Him.
We will continue to make mistakes, but it is important to not focus on those mistakes. Instead, focus on your God. He is an awesome God. Where sin abounds, His grace abounds more. Though hate and judgment can cause discomfort, His love wins. Where there is only weakness, we see His strength on display. Our mistakes show our brokenness, but the blood of Christ washes us white as snow. Today, let us not focus on the sins and transgressions that have broken us—instead, fix your eyes upon your God. Follow His will. Focus on His purpose.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” – Proverbs 4:25 [NIV]
During the summer, I often give my dog Max some ice cubes. When we come inside from a walk, I give him one ice cube to munch on and I try to encourage him to drink his water as well. But first thing in the morning he does not want to accept the ice cube because he expects a bone. Every morning he gets a bone to help clean his teeth. He tosses the ice cube on the floor and sits in defiance waiting for me to give him his bone first. He is focused on getting what is better to him so he won’t budge.
At times we have our focus skewed and we have our eyes focused on something that isn’t actually better for us. Rather than taking the ice cube, we desire the bone. Our eyes light up when we see the bones in life, and we sometimes sacrifice the much needed ice cube for the bone. We do this in many areas of our life—with our family, with our jobs, with money and possessions, etc.
Today, ask God to help you with your focus. Ask Him what areas need adjusted. Seek His guidance and don’t just listen—follow.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” – Proverbs 4:25-26 [NIV]