The second focus in need of a shift is my focus on my future instead of my past. This may sound completely contrary to what we always hear. We’re told not to dwell on our pasts, but in matters of provision, I believe it’s better to focus on the past. When we focus on the future, we can only see uncertainty. If we look at our pasts, we can see what God has already done. His promise, combined with past provision can fill us with hope for our uncertain futures. Psalm 107:43 says, “Those who are wise will take this to heart, they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.”When our lives, the things we are facing right now, are reviewed and remembered years from now, God’s faithful love will be seen. When I remember the things I’ve seen in my past, my personal history, it’s obvious that my Father is faithful, even when I am faithless. So I will continue this struggle, now armed with hope and the memory of what I’ve seen.
Lately I’ve been wrestling. I don’t mean physically wrestling; rather I’ve been wrestling emotionally, intellectually, and yes, spiritually. I have a knowledge in my head that should be in my heart, but there’s a war within preventing this knowledge from fully becoming a reality in my heart. The absence of this knowledge, other than in my head, has an awful consequence, because a lie fills its place. The knowledge is trust, and worry is the lie. Yes, I have been wrestling with worry, an all too familiar foe. I seem to have wrestled with worry and its companion, fear, for several years, likely all my life. It comes in different forms, but it always tries to take the place of trust in God. Throughout my 22 years I’ve had numerous opportunities to see the futility of trading trust for worry. Yet, I keep allowing worry inside my heart, beginning the struggle between what I know and what I see.
The most recent form that worry has taken mocks my Heavenly Father’s ability to provide and His loving knowledge of my needs. Its latest lies tell me my student loans are too big and that my chances of ever getting married are getting slimmer with each passing year. I know both of these to be obvious lies because I know my God provides all that I need, whether financially or relationally. I’ve seen Him take me from being jobless, to having two part-time jobs, and then within a month, having two full-time job offers. I have seen Him open doors and provide financially. Yet, for some reason, I trust the things worry points out, rather than what I’ve actually seen. Instead of dwelling on the promises from my Heavenly Father, I allow myself to focus on the lies of worry. From a logical point of view, it’s ridiculous. I have the promise of provision from the God who created the universe, the God who I trust to forgive me and save me, and I dare to allow worry and fear to enter my heart and take the place of trust and faith.
Worry seems to be caused by two improper perspectives or areas of focus. The first focus that needs to change is my focus on my problems instead of my problems. Compared to God, my problems are so small. The things that are closest to my eyes are the things that naturally appear the largest. By worrying, what am I allowing to be closest to me, God or my problems?