I absolutely love working with children, but lately it’s been hard. I’ve felt more dread than joy on the days I’m scheduled to serve in my church's nursery. Before each shift I try to press into God’s strength and not rely on my own, but still (at times) I feel overwhelmed. This past Sunday was no exception.
After a short break between shifts, I arrived back early and decided to listen to worship music. I was singing Here Now by Hillsong United:
All I know is that You are Here now
Still my heart, Let Your voice be all I hear now
Fix my eyes, On the things that I can't see now
And all I see Is the glory of Your Name
As I repeated the phrase, “Fix my eyes on the things that I can’t see now” God revealed this to me:
"In the tiring and frustrating moments you can’t see the seeds I’m planting and the powerful men and women of God these children are going to be. Don’t focus on what you see and feel, focus on what you can’t see – what is being done for their eternity and for the Kingdom of God."
This led me to read the passage of scripture these words originate from:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal .” - 2 Cor 4: 7-8, 16-18
In the stresses of day-to-day life we must not forget that there is something much bigger at stake than our comfort, convenience, paycheck, popularity, and preferences. When we meet God face to face those things won't matter. What will matter is our faith in Jesus Christ, and obedience to follow his commands to love others and make disciples.
Did we do what he called us to do? Did we follow Jesus in bearing our own cross?
That day I realized I'd lost perspective. I couldn't see what God was doing because my eyes weren't on him.
It is written:
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2
The joy awaiting Jesus was the reconciliation between God and humanity that would be accomplished through his death and resurrection. That was worth any amount of shame and pain to him.
It must be the same with us. Jesus never promised that life will be easy. In fact, he warned that we would have many troubles but to take comfort because he has overcome this world (John 16:33).
Everyday, as we live out our respective callings and seek to serve others, we can be encouraged knowing that nothing done out of obedience and love for God is in vain. It may rarely be easy or comfortable, but that's a blessing because it requires us to depend on Jesus, drawing us in to a deeper relationship with him.
So whatever you're up against, take your eyes off of it, and focus on Jesus.
God is faithful to meet you where you are. Pray honestly to him and read His word. John 1:14 says that the Word became flesh. That means God's word (the bible) literally came to life as Jesus Christ. Therefore, you can't fully focus on Jesus without reading and studying the bible.
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, and not our feelings or circumstances, we find that He is our source - the peace, joy, and strength we need to accomplish the task ahead of us no matter how difficult.