How will focusing on God help you?
Excerpted from All Stressed Up and Everywhere to Go!
Practical skills to help you de-stress your life and recover your sanity.
Focusing on God and eternal realities can transform the most difficult and stressful circumstances into experiences of joy and God’s blessing.
In the Keys to Joy, I share about how God transformed my circumstances and surprised me with amazing joy when I was in the middle of one of the most difficult times of my life. My second son, Daniel, was born with multiple problems with his brain, heart and lungs. (This is a great simplification.) During my son’s first three months, I focused on how terrible things were, how overwhelming. And guess what? I got more and more overwhelmed and depressed. The situation looked impossible.
I doubt anyone will dispute the fact that my stress situation was huge. But I made it even bigger because of my internal stress, which distorted my perception and therefore my total stress.
During Daniel’s first three months, my perception was that everything was terrible. Horrible. Unfair. During Daniel’s next three months, I set aside my internal stress and began to focus on God, rather than my problems. I saw that God is bigger and more powerful than any disease. Guess what? Things didn’t seem nearly as bad or as overwhelming.
Was Daniel better those next three months? No. Actually, he was worse. I found out my son had less than a year to live. My son was dying, but I was not as overwhelmed, discouraged or depressed as I had been. In fact, I had an amazing peace and joy—like I’d never had before. Why? Because I chose to focus on God rather than on my circumstances. That’s the only thing that changed in my life. I chose to see how good and powerful He is, recognizing that nothing is too hard for Him. The change in my perception of my situation—though not always easy to maintain—gave me strength and courage to face each day.
Then one day, God completely healed my son! Well … that was my perspective as I held Daniel’s lifeless body in my arms. I knew that he was with Jesus—completely healed and perfect. He would never suffer again. Was it the kind of healing I prayed for? No. But through my tears, my first thought after he died was that he was healed. Tears mingled with joy. I would miss him, yet I knew I would see him again.
When I focus on the Lord, my problems seem to shrink in comparison with God’s greatness and power.
Your perspective can make all the difference between feeling overwhelmed by trouble or being surprised by joy. And it can change the little, annoying stressors of life into opportunities to worship God rather than merely feeling irritated and grumpy.
By the way, Daniel’s 30th birthday is on October 2!
Blessings on you as you learn to focus on God in greater ways,
Gaylyn Williams, author of Overflowing Hope for Singles: 31 Devotional Studies to Encourage You
© 2016 Relationship Resources, Inc.