July 23, 2012

Trying to See

Sometimes it seems as if the view is blurry. How are things going in my life? I'm trying to be faithful, but is God doing anything in and around me? Am I on the right track? The only think I can see clearly are my weaknesses, stumbles, faults, and failures.
I found myself in this blurred haze last week, doing what we all do when our vision is impaired and we can't make out the shadow from the light: smashing everything in life up to my face for a closer (and critical) look.

The problem is, I discovered, when one gazes intently for too long with a critical eye at the details, nothing else can be seen. Instead of the big picture, instead of overarching grace, I only see my weaknesses magnified tenfold and, in my pursuit of God and the fulfillment of the ministry He's given me, it feels as if I'm on the wrong track entirely. In addition, when my vision's blurry and my obsession is with the fine details, I have an extremely difficult time diverting my gaze away from irrational feelings and ungodly thoughts.

The fact is that in those times, I'm looking at circumstances or measurable results to gauge how I'm doing. I stare at a checklist full of unchecked boxes. In my blindness, I grope around in the dark for anyone or anything that will assure me that I'm on the right track, that everything is all right. The more I do this, the fuzzier it all becomes.

When I fight to divert my gaze to the truth of the gospel, I find that what I'm being is much more important than what I'm doing. There is no need to obsess about the minute details when my approval in Christ, because of Christ, is constant and unchanging. As my Shepherd, He will let know when I'm off track. I have to trust this.

Ah, the gospel: the process of sanctification, the unalterable love of Jesus, the complete lack of condemnation. I must walk in faith through the blurry haze days that feel off-kilter, not try to see with my eyes or evaluate where I am based on external circumstances. If I walk in faith, eventually the haze fades, and I see the big picture coming into focus once again, a picture of grace, of being in Him, of Holy Spirit fruit-bearing, and, best of all, soul-satisfying peace.

When you are struggling with irrational emotions or feeling discouraged in motherhood or ministry, how do you fight to set your gaze on the gospel?