My daughter woke me out of a dead sleep. “Can I show you this?” she asked. In my stupor I wondered if she’d actually waken me up to show me something on her phone. “This better be good,” I thought.
By the time I managed to speak, I could sense panic in her voice.
Her arms were covered with a rash and welts. It was an allergic reaction, and I knew why she was panicked. Last year she’d watched a friend experience a possibly fatal allergy attack while friends argued over who would be brave enough to stick her with her EpiPen.
“My arms itch so bad, I can hardly stand it,” Camilla said. After checking to make sure there was no rash or swelling around her throat or face, I gave her Benadryl, prayed for her, and tucked her in bed.
Runaway thoughts kept me awake. “What if the swelling spreads? What if it gets worse, and I have to take her to the emergency room? Why don’t I have an EpiPen on hand in case I ever need one?”
I finally fell asleep, and the next morning, my daughter’s rash had totally cleared up. I thought about how I’d turned a minor allergic reaction into a full-blown, life-threatening emergency in my mind.
Have you noticed whatever you focus on grows bigger in your mind?
If you focus long enough on that unexpected bill for $295, it grows to a million dollars. If you think hard enough about that thing your husband did that drove you crazy or hurt you, you start believing your marriage is hopeless. (Of course it isn’t.) If you think long enough about your problem, it turns into you facing the Red Sea with a horde of Egyptians behind you (Exodus 14). Panic grows.
If you focus on God, your picture of Him grows bigger.
We’ll always have troubles and trials, yet somehow mine shrink when I turn my focus away from them and towards God. Remembering God’s power, wisdom, and love gives me a better perspective on my problems.
Lately God’s showing me I need to feed my faith with plenty of scripture about His greatness and power. Here are some of my current favorites:
This reminds me I can trust God to be my Savior in any situation. He may not change things as I’d like, but He’ll always strengthen me and renew my joy.
God is more than enough to care for me and my problems. He works wonders. Sometimes I just need to be still long enough to watch Him work.
The same God who put the stars in place holds us in His hand. God’s faithfulness and love will never fail us.
Got problems today, friend? I understand how it feels. Whether your problem is a night-time emergency or a never-ending trial, may I encourage you to go to God’s Word? As we feed our minds with scripture, He’ll renew our perspective. Our problems will shrink when we focus on God’s love and power.