Newborn babies are very near-sighted creatures. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh when their sweet little eyes cross when trying to focus on something. Bless it! My little girl is well out of her newborn stage (still can’t believe that), but God caught my attention one day when she was tiny. I was attending to my toddler and having a conversation with her (probably sternly asking her to stop throwing her food all over the floor), and my baby started fussing a little. I kept saying her name from a distance to ease her frustration, but it never seemed to do the trick. I watched her. She started getting more and more nervous because she could not see me. She was moving her head from side to side pretty frantically looking for her mom. Her eyes could only see something that was close to her, and I was not close enough. It made her feel insecure, unsure of her surroundings, and a bit anxious. She had no sense of direction, peace, or stability.
I walked over to her and calmly looked at her. I kept saying, “Ivey, Ivey . . . Look at mama.” When she finally was able to still her head and focus her eyes on mine, her entire face flooded with joy, peace, security. She was home in that moment. She started smiling and laughing at me. She then knew where her mom was, and for her, that was enough. God used that moment so clearly in my heart that I could not hold back my tears. Not only is it always so precious to me to see the joy on my child’s face when she sees me, but this made me consider the importance of “setting my eyes on Jesus.”
As Pastor Rob says, “How often am I running around doing FOR Jesus that I forget ABOUT Jesus?!” I feel like this is a daily struggle for me. I start my day without prayer or time in the Word. I end my day and wonder, “Did I ever stop for a moment to set my eyes on Jesus?” I am going, going, going every day. I am changing diapers, feeding my kids, and bathing them. I am working and doing paperwork and counseling the hurting. I am checking on friends and having rushed conversations with my spouse. I go to bed late, exhausted and emotionally spent, and I get up the next morning and start all over. Then I wonder after a few days or weeks of this why I spontaneously combust.
Like my baby girl, I get bits and pieces of Jesus from a distance. I listen to a sermon on Sunday, read a blog on Wednesday, rush through my Bible study a couple of days, and pray with my husband for a few minutes before bedtime. I keep passing Jesus like a ship in the night, waving hello from a distance and never stopping long enough to look at His face, to learn Him, to KNOW Him, to BE with Him.
The difference here is that Ivey could hear my voice, and she could not find my face. I was not close enough. God promises to be near, to never leave us nor forsake us. He IS already here. All we need to do is still our efforts, still our fights, still our busy lives and divided hearts, and FOCUS—Focus on the One who never leaves. Focus on the One who never changes. The One who loves perfectly and unconditionally. The One who brings peace that passes understanding, joy that is unspeakable. The One who gives us a strong sense of security in the safety of His presence. We will continue to fight anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and insecurity when we do not stop what we are doing long enough to see Him, understand Him, and love Him.