Published May 6, 2014

Shelia Shares
"Where's Your Focus?"

It was recently time for my yearly checkup with my eye surgeon. You'll remember that in June, 2012, I had a serious eye problem in my right eye (vitreous macular traction syndrome) and needed surgery to restore vision. It was a long recovery, but God answered many prayers and I can function normally, as long as I take a few precautions and am aware of my limitations.

My right eye, two years after surgery, continues to improve minutely. What a blessing when I was aware that surgery could have left me blind. Now, however, the left eye has a few problems, although not to the stage that would require surgery.

I was explaining to the doctor that infrequently I have some hours when I can't read anything and everything looks wavy.

After he had questioned me further, his conclusion was that when I am having the problem, probably my right eye had assumed the role of the dominate eye. Since it will never be perfect, it caused vision in both eyes to distort. When this happens, he said I need to get my eyes to refocus.

"Focus" was on my mind as he spoke. After all the eye drops (five in each eye), I was finding it difficult to focus my eyes and read anything clearly. What a good reminder that physically and spiritually we can get out of focus and need to back up and refocus again

Recognizing that your focus can shift is the first step towards refocusing.

When I compare my life to the lives of others, it is easy to focus on what others have and what I don't have. Recently, I was in a "pity party" attitude. I told the Lord that we had served Him for many years. I asked why money was tight. I questioned whether we weren't faithful enough to deserve better.

I really felt like the Lord said, "Stop comparing. Do you have enough for today? Haven't I promised to give you enough for tomorrow's needs? Can't you be satisfied? Comparing just causes discontent."

Recently I was speaking with a friend who is going through a difficult time. She is trying to root out the bitterness caused by a divorce among other things. I shared with her that I have found that when I focus on my hurt, I am really closing God out of my life. If I begin to focus on God, I see people differently. I even see my circumstances differently. When I focus on God being in control, problems, even relationship problems, are His. He can deal with them and He'll take me through the bad that comes into every person's life.

Sometimes my focus is distorted and I need to refocus.

I need to focus on all that we have. We have health. We have each other. We have a warm house and enough basic food. We have a job where we can help people. We have a great church family. We have a couple great kids and a great daughter-in-law. We are blessed.

That helps me to get over the comparison thing. It doesn't mean I understand the circumstances in which we find ourselves. But, if God is in control and He is responsible for us, that takes the pressure off me. If He owns everything, then what I have or don't have is His problem, not mine. If He created the people that make my life difficult, then He is responsible to work in their lives as He chooses. I am responsible for my attitude. I am responsible for how I treat others. I am responsible to do what He has given me responsibility to do. That puts a different look on everything.

How's your focus? Do you need to sit back, close your eyes and turn your situation over to God?

Recognizing that your focus can shift is the first step towards refocusing.


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