A Life of Focus
How do we bring things into focus when life screams pain, hurt, and disappointment?
This past week I was reminded once again of how integral a focal point is whenever life shouts chaos. My niece came down with a serious infection, which they thought was MRSA. My brother and his wife just recently recovered from months of an intense battle Lisa fought with a brain infection, which I shared about here. And now, just when it looked as if they had finally turned the corner to brighter days ahead, their two-year old daughter landed in the hospital.
As I watched Brighton’s little body fight the infection within, my heart cried out, “Why? They have been through so much, please no more.”
And yet, a peace covered all of my family. I watched my mom, a grandma who gives her all, fly above the unknowns. I observed my brother, strong as ever, laugh at the absurdity of it all. My own spirit testified to the truth of One Who is greater than all THIS.
The only answer to the peace we had was a life of focus looking at one single point: Jesus, Himself.
It is only Jesus that can make all the rest fade away. In our flesh, it is not enough to try to drop the fear, let go of the anxiety. We must focus on something greater, Someone bigger. If we focus on the One Who is greater than any bacteria-resistant infection, stronger than any sinful weakness, richer than any economic need, everything else fades from view.
I love how Lilias Trotter describes a Focused Life:
“How do we bring things to a focus in the world of optics? Not by looking at the things to be dropped, but by looking at the one point that is to be brought out. Turn full your soul’s vision to Jesus, and …look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him.”
I’ve been spending time in the book of Acts. Yesterday, I was struck by the first miracle recorded. In Chapter 3, Peter heals a crippled man at the Beautiful Gate. The lame man simply asked Peter and John for alms. He was only thinking of his financial need. But Peter told him he didn’t have money. He had something so much bigger. “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”(3:6)
It’s easy to think the gift was the physical healing. And, that was a part of it. But we fail to miss the true miracle if we don’t focus on the Name: Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Peter had Christ, and that is all he needed.
“And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”(3:16)
Faith in Jesus changes everything. A life of focus on the One whose name is above every other name makes all the other distractions fade. Whenever we are healed physically, spiritually, or emotionally, let us remember we are healed to a Person, Christ.
By His stripes, we are healed. His wounds paid the price of our pain. The blood of His splintered body, brought life to our dead bodies. When we focus on Him, the aperture changes. His light focuses on the hope, faith, and love that He bought for us.
As Lilias says,
“‘He is worthy’ to have all there is to be had in the heart that He has died to win.”
I want Him to have all that there is to be had in my heart. All the pride, all the pain, all the fear, all the love …every last bit is His.
And when it is His, our focus on life changes. We see everything through the light of Him. The broken promise, the bruised body, the mounting debt, nothing escapes His redeeming touch.
We are still waiting for my niece’s little body to heal completely from the staph infection. With grateful hearts, we received the news that it was not MRSA. And yet we still see the effects of this fallen world, day after day.
But we have a different focus. A view of the eternal because our gaze is fixed on Him. Our eyes are turned to the One whose name is above every name.
And the things of earth become more and more dim …