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Zoom Out: When Life Hits You Sideways — Carol McLeod Ministries | — Carol McLeod Ministries | Find Joy in Your Everyday Life


A Note from Carol: I love giving some of my dearest friends a voice during the summer on my Joy for the Journey blog. Let me introduce you to author and prayer warrior, Christy Christopher.

I know she has something rich and wise to share with you, and I hope you will take the time to enjoy this post and soak in her insight. I also hope you will take the time to visit her website at www.christineachristopher.com.

Don’t worry … I am still here, and I will be back writing Joy for the Journey at the end of the summer. In the meantime, I am writing a new Bible Study and preparing all sorts of wonderful ministry events for the fall. Blessings and joy!

Recently, my life has taken a turn. In the past couple of years, some of the strongest storms of my life have developed and are still raging all around (and even inside of) me. In my fifty-one years of loving Jesus, I have never known a season so difficult as the one I am currently in. It is so easy to fixate on what I am seeing with my eyes and feeling with my emotions. The temptation to hyper-focus on the waves and wind is almost irresistible. And like Peter, I have been guilty of looking at the waves. But also, like Peter, I have done some water-walking with Jesus. In moments of great frustration, fear or sorrow, the Holy Spirit is teaching me the power of “zooming out.” No, I did not say zoning out! 

You may wonder why the Holy Spirit spoke to me like that. I’m so glad you asked! Zooming out simply means to stop using my magnifying glass and start using my telescope! Ever so slowly, I am learning how to step back and see the bigger picture of God’s glorious plan. Some days, I get off of the seat Jesus prepared for me beside him and go fight in the mud with the adversary. When I’m engaging my enemy on his level, it means I am allowing my feelings and emotions to be my master. Ephesians 2:6 explains that we have a seat beside Jesus in the heavenly places. If I live out of the heavenly places, wouldn’t it make sense that I have heavenly experiences? The battle is real, but our victory is imminent. As we zoom out, we will notice our circumstances become smaller and God’s bigger picture comes into view. We must look at every detail of our life through the lens and filter of our Father’s eyes. When we do, hope, peace, and joy have a chance to grow in our heart. So, zoom out, my friend! See what great things He wants to show you.

It’s not only about going to heaven when I die, but it’s about getting heaven into me while I live. I know I’m going to be with Jesus when I die. I am learning, though, that His presence is to be enjoyed here and now. There is empowerment when I live out of the heavenly places. What does this look like? It looks like allowing Jesus to wrap me in His big security blanket of love until peace and calm assurance invades my storm-tossed soul. It means that when fear and intimidation knock on my front door, I step aside and let the Lion of the tribe of Judah answer. It means that I may fall down, but I get up quicker and quicker each time and find my footing. I must zoom out to see the view of heaven anxious to invade my thoughts and emotions. In the midst of my mess, I must keep the cross in full view.

One morning as a storm was rolling around my soul, I was in my bedroom getting ready for the day. I heard a little knock at my door. It was my five-year-old granddaughter. She had been painting and wanted to give me something she had made. She slid it slowly and carefully under my door and said, “Mimi, I made you a picture with a cross.” I took a look and became mesmerized. The page was torn on the left side. The whole painting was bright red. There were brush strokes that took no recognizable form except the red cross right in the middle. Isn’t that life sometimes? It’s messy, torn and has no familiar form. But for the child of God, there’s the cross of Jesus right in the center of all that is going on. Instantly I heard the Holy Spirit: “Daughter, remember the cross.” Life is messy. Life is painful. Life is confusing.

The cross is God‘s love for me. The cross is the power to prevail. The cross is healing salve to my broken heart. The cross is the rudder of my ship. Just as I learned when I birthed my three babies into the earth, to have a focal point in the midst of excruciating pain, so I must also have a focal point to navigate my life. That focal point has to be the cross of Jesus Christ. I will become derailed if I don’t see the cross. I will sink in despair if I turn away from the cross. I will burn up in the flames if I turn away from the cross. With the cross, I have life. Without the cross, I have death. Just as I heard the little knock on my bedroom door, I pray you hear the knock on the door of your heart today. In Galatians 6:14, Paul tells us that the cross is everything! Zoom out and see the centerpiece of heaven prepared just for you!

If there is anything Satan (the father of lies) would like, it is for me to not understand, and contend for, what Jesus provided for me on the cross. It provided freedom from demonic bondage of depression, hopelessness, sickness, and every form of darkness hell would attempt to toss my way. It provided forgiveness for my sin and failure. It provided that I would not be pounded by shame and guilt. It provided that I will not be punished for my sins. It provided healing for my broken heart.

No matter what my circumstance or emotional state of mind, I must look to God, zoom out, and contend for what Jesus has given me. The enemy will fight me tooth and nail to stop me from receiving what Jesus said I can have.

I challenge you today: Stay zoomed out, upon your seat in the heavenly places, right beside Jesus!

This is a book of devotional writings divided into three sections: Lessons in Faith, Lessons in Hope and Lessons in Love. This devotional trilogy is a palatable blend of inspirational pictures, exciting testimonies from the author’s life, occasional Hebrew and Greek word study, prophetic words and encouragements that will be a source of comfort and strength to the storm-tossed, grief-stricken soul.

Timely inspiration to:
• Help you navigate through the darkest of places
• Better hear God’s voice and heart more clearly
• Grow and thrive in the midst of deep challenge or pain

Next

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Used with permission from carolmcleodministries.com.

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