Fear exhausts me, especially when I consider my “to do” list.
Honestly, I’m not very good at multi-tasking. And I’m not so sure it works very well for my daughter Tara either. She also seems frustrated at times when I call, as she tries to cook dinner–holding a screaming baby, listening to a whining preschooler, dealing with two squabbling little boys, and talking on the phone—all at the same time.
I can’t even concentrate on my writing projects at times with dishes in the sink or dirty laundry. And when the phone rings, I lose my ability to focus completely. Then, when I expand my worrying about all the details of my life, writer’s block paralyzes me.
DISTRACTIONS. How can I work on my writing projects with so many distractions? When I asked this question in prayer, a familiar scripture came to mind, “Seek first the kingdom of God …” (Matt. 6:33 NKJV).
But how can I focus on God, when I have all this work to do? A twinge of doubt hovered, as I wrestled with the impossibility of finishing my day, caught up with all of my tasks.
In my search for answers, I looked up Matthew 6:33 in several Bible translations, and I discovered this promise in The Message: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions … You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
Still, I questioned my own ability to accomplish all that I needed to do. So, I began to try to apply the scripture to my situation.
Does God’s Word really promise to give me the power I need to overcome my worries as I focus on Him—His presence, His purpose, and His provision?
RED SKY. As I looked over from my computer screen, thinking about my questions, I focused on the breath-taking hues of the sunrise revealed over the horizon. And I recalled the captivating shades of crimson and pumpkin in the sunset on my drive home the previous night.
Jesus called attention to a red sky in Matthew 16:2-3: “Red sky at night, what a delight. Red sky in the morning, cloudy and storming” (ISV). Then, after sharing this familiar saying with the religious leaders of His day, who had asked for a sign from heaven to confirm His authority, Jesus explained, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, yet you can’t interpret the signs of the times?”
REALITY. After checking off a few items from my “to do” list, I decided to go for a long walk, before I faced the rest of my projects. And as I put on my earphones to listen to some music, the first song lifted my spirits and touched my heart and my mind with its truth.
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me
And … I can’t deny
No I can’t deny that you are right here with me
You’ve opened my eyes
So I can see you all around me
(“Light Up The Sky” by The Afters)
REFLECTIONS. God had provided an answer to my questions even before I had asked. He revealed His glorious presence and power to me the prior evening in the captivating sunset framed by the Ouachita Mountains during my drive home. Then, He drew my attention to the majesty of His creation, as I observed the heavenly canopy of the sunrise reflected in the Lake Cortez, glowing through the trees near my home the next morning.
Did God light up the sky to show me that He was with me? Yes, I couldn’t deny that He was right there with me. He opened my eyes, and I could see evidence of His Presence all around me.
How has God revealed Himself to you lately?