Posted by: pmarkrobb | August 31, 2017

fix our eyes on Jesus

Am I the only one who feels like somewhere along the way driving on the open road turned into Sunday afternoon at Talladega or Charlotte Motor Speedway?  Does anyone know where those people are going in such a hurry?  I don’t drive the speed limit nearly as much as I should (I’ll just be honest), but even on and errand to get some milk or my ten stop light commute to and from work, I feel as though I’m holding someone up or they’re ready to drive up and over my car to get by me.

My Wednesday morning group just finished a really good book on anger.  I found very quickly that my opening question was a rhetorical one, and was a universally shared experience.  I also found that much of my personal battle with anger was sourced in the expansive list of expectations I didn’t realize I had for how other people would act.  Seeing someone in my driver’s side mirror racing up the left-hand lane intended for turning, so they could cut into the lane I was in two or three cars ahead of me (or right in front of me); Slowing down to allow someone to merge and them not lifting a hand to acknowledge the grace; Someone lifting “a hand” when some near miss was clearly their fault … These had become daily pinpricks that would so often cause anger to well up inside of me (and sometimes burst out).

I had fallen into a pattern of allowing even the most minor of outside influences to severely disrupt or destroy my peace.  I didn’t see or hear the chains, but I was unquestionably shackled.  I wonder if any of this is even vaguely resonant in your own life.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

I had become locked up by, and chained to, the things of this life; not in the sense of possession, but of obsession.  My attention and energy was consumed by the things that all burn up in the end.  I was weighed down, hindered and elaborately entangled in the mess of not a single thing that ultimately matters.  My sight line had dropped just a few degrees, but that is how our great enemy works.  He does not attack or tempt us with untruth.  He comes alongside with truth that has been twisted in single digit degrees, just a little bit, just enough to make it look and sound true, but be absolutely untrue.  So what did I do?  What is one to do when they’ve fallen for quite literally the oldest trick in the book?

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

I corrected my sight line.

I fixed my eyes back on Jesus.

I began daily picking up my cross.

That’s it.

That may sound quaint and really “devotional,” and yeah, but you weren’t wading through 54 inches of real suffering.  Oh, my brothers and sisters who are.  Oh how my heart is broken and prayerful for you.  But I can assure you from the experiences in my own life that have risen to that high water mark, the truth is unwavering and unconditional.  In any test and trial, in any failure of faith, fix your eyes on Jesus.

Oh how beautiful are the words and truth of the old hymn…

Turn your  eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

We’re not living for here.  We have things to do that He planned for us before time even began.  But may we fix our eyes on Jesus and be given the sight that distinguishes one from the other.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!


Responses

  1. Thanks for the reminder that unmet expectations and daily distractions can so easily rob us of the eternal. Father help me live for the joy set before me and not in my rear view mirror.


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