As if to say “neener-neener” I believe the enemy is testing my desire to focus on my theme for 2014: Psalm 139.
And so it goes…
For a quick synopsis: after much prayer and petition of our loving Heavenly Father, it has been decided that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” is my focus verse of the year. In an effort to move past the feelings of inadequacy, the self doubts and second guessing of my decisions, motivations, etc… in 2014 I am focusing on the fact that I was created in God’s image. Genesis 1:27 tells us “God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him.”
Needless to say, when we turn our focus to God the enemy is not happy about it. Not one bit.
Over the past 18 hours I’ve been aware of the following events that might hinder my focus on Psalm 139 (some of them trivial, some a little more important). But it’s not so much the actual event, but how I react to these events. I look at these as ‘tests’. Ready for these?
A bad hair day. (I mean, come on!)
Forgetting to do something I do every day, in my morning routine. (Yes, I remembered to brush my teeth.)
The desire to meet up to someone else’s expectations. (Instead of God’s expectations.)
A nightmare in the form of a DREAM: a friend of my husband’s knocked on our door to deliver condolences for my husband’s son’s death. News flash – in REAL LIFE my husband does not have a son. (Oh, the distrust the enemy is trying to plant in my heart towards my husband.)
The want to compare myself to someone else, intellectually.
The longing to point out someone else’s imperfections. (Maybe I’ll feel better about my imperfections?)
I admit these things for a number of reasons. First of all, I’m an open book. Secondly, fessing up to this stuff help me moved past them. Thirdly, I’m hoping my struggle will help someone else.
How did I respond?
- I fretted over the bad hair day (a couple of times). In fact, I gasped when I looked in the mirror at work. I audibly said “Lookin’ good, Lori. Lookin’ good!’ <—- enter sarcastic tone here
- I shook my head when I remembered a very important step of the morning routine (especially in the winter): lathering up with lotion. I remember hearing one of the “hey dummy” tape recordings go off in my head.
- I pondered how I could do something to meet this person’s expectations.
- oh, the list goes on…
I admit it. I reacted to each of those ‘tests’ in the wrong way, initially.
And then, after I had my coffee and completed my morning quiet time, I was reminded that my responses were bad habits. And that those responses can be changed. And I came back to the need for a renewed focus. And I opened my Bible again to read Psalm 139. And the focus quickly returned.
It’s amazing how quickly we can return to the right focus when we turn our eyes and hearts on His word, His grace, His unconditional love for us. Nothing is more encouraging!
I’m convinced that more ‘tests’ will come before the day is over… and I may not necessarily respond the right way, initially. But that’s why I’ve chosen to focus on Psalm 139 … in an effort to change those destructive habits.
Psalm 139:13-16 (translation: The Message): “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
2 thoughts on “Not even a day goes by, and my 2014 focus has been tested…”
Reading your words is like reading my own thoughts. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you to my heart. I struggle with inadequacy every day, and always have. My inadequacy shows itself as an ugly beast that is unkind, critical and what I like to call “pissy”. I snap and snarl, and God reminds me to show mercy. I respond to Him, “but but but’, and He repeats “show mercy”. I’m going to enjoy following you this year as I learn to rest in His hand, and maybe He’ll teach me some things from one of my favorite Psalms, too. Perhaps I need to show mercy not just to those around me, but to myself, as well.
You’re right on, Diana. Showing mercy to others is important… but even more so to ourselves. I do not find it a coincidence that God orchestrated our paths crossing when he did. xo, Lori