Look Me Straight in the Eyes

parent holding cheeks of child softRecently, I found myself focusing on my circumstances instead of God, who has control over them. This left me feeling out of control, and anxious. I thought about my children when they were small, and how they had similar emotions. One could snatch a toy from the other and “all chaos” would break out, leaving the empty handed one feeling anxious and out of control. To get their attention and calm them, I would cup their plump cheeks in the palms of my hands, lift their head, and say, “Look me straight in the eyes.” As they focused on my eyes, I would softly tell them to calm down and that everything was going to be okay. Once this truth settled in their little hearts, they would experience a calming peace.

Are you focused on your circumstances?

Maybe you’re like me when fatigue swoops in. It sets our emotions on our shoulders causing our focus to be on ourselves and our circumstances. Then, everything becomes amplified. For example, small things can feel like huge failures. Such as missing deadlines, not following through with paperwork for a volunteer position, procrastinating reaching out to that new friend, staying perpetually behind on the laundry…I could go on and crossover into worries and fears because when we intentionally focus on ourselves, we naturally build a list of all our failures.

By now, we feel like “all chaos” has broken out, and we have lost control.

As I was walking and talking through the details with God, I was reminded that He is the lifter of my head. I pictured God cupping my own plump cheeks in His hands as He said, “Look me straight in the eyes!” Focus on ME, not what is going on around you. Psalm 3:3 (NIV) came to mind … “You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”

Then, I remembered where my eyes are supposed to be. Psalm 121:1-2 …“I lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”. As this truth settled in my heart, a calming peace wrapped around me like a warm blanket. I wish I could always maintain this kind of peace, but my flesh is weak. However, I have a phrase I ponder on to help me, but it only works when I remember it and apply it: “I cannot do anything apart from Christ, but I can do ALL things through Him.”

Let’s choose to apply this truth today, and let God be the lifter of our head. He is in control. We can calm down … everything will be okay.