Sometimes the world around seems like constant distractions. Everyone is yelling at you about what they think you should consider to be important, or the “right” viewpoint, or the way you should feel. My prayer often in this year especially has been that I would not be distracted by anything that is not where my Shepherd is calling me. That doesn’t mean it’s not a place for anyone—but I want to have enough energy to pursue Him in the way He’s called me rather than chasing down a thousand bunny trails that lead nowhere.
In asking for this, God has consistently shown me that I am not denying the physical reality of a situation, but I am adding the spiritual reality. This isn’t an either/or situation. Something may be very awful, sad or difficult, but that doesn’t mean that this description fully encompasses it. I always want to acknowledge the pain and hold space for the grieving of a situation, but I also want to recognize the spiritual reality that God loves us with an everlasting love and He is shepherding us through even the darkest valley of the shadow of death.
As much as I am not denying reality, I am also not just looking for a positive spin on things. I think much has been made of thinking positive, and frankly, I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t find it helpful. Even while I am trying to think positive, the rest of my brain is at war showing that it doesn’t hold water.
But what I can get behind is the acknowledgement of a bigger reality that overcomes the situation I see in front of me. Ephesians 2:6-7 says that we are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies—we are already more than conquerors, already have all of the love of Jesus and already maintain a position as a child of God. If I operate from a place of acknowledging the truths He has made bestowed on my life, it changes my perspective. I can rise above the negative and the positive to a place of relationship that trumps both.
I need a reformation of how I think about this world, about my circumstances and about others. This requires a renewing of the mind in light of the recognition of how God has redeemed me. It means a new approach to whatever situation I see—one in which I rise above the fray to see God’s everlasting love surrounding me.
In accepting this renewing of my mind, I must choose to set my mind in the right place. But I can ask Him for the ability to do this. I may not just know how to do it. I crave peace, and peace is found in my mind becoming consumed with Jesus. In Him I find all the peace I have been wanting.
I pour out my concerns and worries before God, knowing He hears me and is bringing a perspective shift as I recognize my position and my empowerment by Him. It is only possible to refocus on gratitude, worship, praise or praying for others when He makes it possible. I can welcome the renewing of my mind as I see clearly the spiritual reality that surrounds and overtakes all the physical reality that shouts for my attention. I am able to approach anything from a place above the fray that, instead of being distracted by all the commotion around me, looks straight into the eyes of a loving Savior who continues to carry me through.
For no matter where I am, even when I’m far from home, I will cry out to you for a father’s help. When I’m feeble and overwhelmed by life, guide me into your glory, where I am safe and sheltered. Lord, you are a paradise of protection to me. You lift me high above the fray. None of my foes can touch me when I’m held firmly in your wraparound presence! Psalm 61:2-3