Friday, March 06, 2015

Eyes on Him

Recently, Aldi's opened a store here in town.  I love Aldi's and the bargains I can get.  My kids love it for another reason.... putting the quarter in the shopping cart and then getting it back out.  Eli, in particular, loves to just drive by to see if there are carts in the parking lot he can return so he can pocket a quarter.  And being as cute as he is, several little old ladies have given him their cart to return.  He's quite the entrepreneur.  ;)

But something recently ruined this for him.  We stopped by to pick up a few items after church one Sunday.  I was staying in the van with the girls.  Him and Mark were going in.  But there was one of those glorious carts in the parking lot, so he was going after it.  Mark went up to the cart area to wait for him.... only Eli didn't know this.  I knew immediately what was coming.  When you have a child with Asperger's you just kind of learn their triggers and then tailor things in a way to prevent instances such as this.  Only it was too late.  Mark was out of his sight.  He didn't know what to do or where to go and panic flooded his face.  Before I could get out of the truck to stop the full blown meltdown, he was in tears, running back to the truck.... pushing the cart with him.  I met him and tried to tell him it was okay, that Dad was right up there waiting for him.  He refused to go.  He was sobbing and inconsolable.

He no longer cared about the quarter.

He'd lost sight of his father and panic ensued.

I get teary eyed just recalling that day.  It may seem insignificant, but I remember the fear in his eyes.  I remember rushing to try to avoid what I knew was inevitably coming.  And I remember how he lost the excitement for finding carts and gleaning a shiny new quarter.

The truth is, I'm often just like him.

I lose sight of the Father.  I focus on the problems in front of me and inevitably, panic and worry ensue.

As most of you know, we recently signed on to go to Honduras on a mission's trip.  It's something we've always wanted to do and what's so great about it is that a.) we're finally getting to go b.) I'm getting to go with my husband, mom and best friend c.) we're getting to go with my home church I grew up in.  I'm excited and looking forward to seeing what God does through this opportunity.

But it hasn't been without trials and disappointments.

You know how they say that when God is in something you can expect opposition?

That's been proven true, time and time again.

I've been so down here lately.  Fundraisers not doing as good as we had hoped.  Having to cancel a fundraiser due to the weather forecasting rain and then it not raining.  And now the 8 inches of snow outside has forced us to cancel our upcoming yard sale fundraiser and reschedule another one.  I don't understand.

But then again, I don't have to.

One might begin to question our decision to go.  We have not.

We believe that when He said GO that He meant it and that it doesn't mean just a select few but rather everyone who professes Christ.  That might mean next door, at work, in your city, across the country, or it might mean leaving the country like we are.  But we're all called to go.

I don't know how this will all pan out.  If it's going to be Mark working overtime to pay for it, if it's going to be my Plexus business taking off (although doubtful since we're 4 weeks from the trip and 1/3 of what I make goes straight to taxes), if it's going to be our fellow Christians, friends and family helping be the hands and feet of Christ by giving towards this trip or by some other means.  I don't know.

But again, I don't have to.

I just have to trust Him and keep my eyes on Him, never losing sight.

Because time and time again, I've taken the long, hard road of losing sight of the Father.

Times when my feelings have been hurt and my focus turns to the accuser instead of the Comforter.

Times when those comments have caused me to look at myself and work, work, work to change it so it won't be true anymore instead of turning to what He says about me.

Times when I've been heartbroken and wallowed in self pity instead of running to the Savior.

Times when I've begged and pleaded, petitioning for the lives of my babies, the lives of my friends' babies and was angry when the answer was no, instead of remembering that for everything there is a season.

Times when I've relied on Phoebe instead of the One who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Times when I've looked at circumstances instead of the One who holds all things together.

Times when I stepped out in faith only to become like Peter and look down, questioning my decision instead of keeping my eyes on the Father.

So very many times.

I wish I could say this wasn't true.  But it is.

What's also true is that a quick shift in focus can change everything.

Peter looked up and called out for help.  It was that simple.  Eyes on the Father, Jesus reached out and pulled him to safety.

I often wonder what all Peter would have experienced had he never taken his eyes off of Jesus.  And that begs the question:

What all do we miss because we've averted our eyes to something else?

Probably more than I dare imagine.  And that gentle reminder is what beckons me to keep my eyes on Him each and every time I feel the sting of disappointment.  Each time I'm hurt, each time someone's words cut deep, each time I've let myself down, each time I'm fretting over something out of my control.

Eyes on the Father, friends.  

Eyes on the Father.

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