Lift Your Eyes
Life is unpredictable—sometimes in a gloriously wonderful, “wow I did not see that happening, I love surprises!” kind of way…and sometimes in a horribly random, “wow I did not see that happening, I hate surprises!” kind of way.
We are living in a season of unknown. Many have questions about safety and health, job security, home schooling, the economy, the list goes on…
So, what do we do in these moments? How do we live with hope?
It’s not enough to admit that life is uncertain or that we’re not in control. We have to get to a place where we acknowledge God’s role in the story. God’s in charge, not me.
To walk with God does not mean we won’t face very real struggles, problems, and challenges. It does not mean that we won’t struggle with worry or fear. It does mean that there is a different way, a better way to live. We can live with hope even as we face the unknown.
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.
I will lift up my eyes.
This is a Hebrew way of saying I will notice. I will consciously pay attention to. I will reposition myself.
There is a distinct difference between denial and faith. The life to which God calls you does not require eyes scrunched shut and minds closed off. In fact, just the opposite. We are all facing the unknown together. But in those hills, God can be found. Our sovereign LORD is watching over you. There is hope.
If God’s in control, does it matter what I do? Absolutely. God is working through your choices. In His sheer genius, He is leading and shaping and watching over as you live your everyday life.
This kind of life is intentional.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
How do I live this kind of life? How do I lift my eyes to God? How do I cling to hope?
For starters, this is a daily choice. It’s is an attitude, a different way of thinking. And it’s one we need to practice and develop (again and again and again). Here are five ways to help start that journey.
1. First Five
Start the first five minutes of your day with God. Express one gratitude, pray for the day ahead, and read scripture. There’s nothing legalistic about this, but here’s the point: do this BEFORE you check your news feed, emails, texts, turn on the TV, whatever. Remember, we need excellent thoughts. We need the words of God at the forefront of our minds. Pick a scripture, put it on a post-it note, memorize it, pray through it, journal about it. Start a new morning routine.
2. Do the Right and Loving Thing
We are called to live sacrificially and to live generously. In this moment that means we’re giving up privileges and freedoms in order to protect others. A loving life is a life of faith, but also sacrifice. Let’s be informed by the way that Jesus lived and the way he served the most vulnerable.
Worship is essential for our souls to flourish. When you’re watching church online, dare to sing out loud. Declare the truth of those lyrics. But don’t just let worship be for the weekend. Find other ways to incorporate worship into your day – check out a worship playlist, ask your kids what their favorite worship songs are.
Prayer is the language of our dependence on God. Keep pouring your heart out to Him. Share your worries, doubts, fears, dreams, and hopes with the God who cares for you. If you’re feeling powerless and wondering what specifically you can do, remember that we are also to intercede for others. To lift them up by name in prayer. When was the last time you asked someone, “how can I specifically be praying for you today?” And if someone asks you that same question, be honest, be vulnerable.
5. Take Care
There is One who will watch over every moment of your life. He’s on the job. He doesn’t sleep or slumber. So, take care of yourself and your family. Ask God to help you know what the next right step to take is. Remember, our God is not overwhelmed by our current situations. Keep leaning into Him. Keep trusting Him.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Until some of these unknowns become known, keep turning your gaze towards Jesus. Trust in the One who has cared for you and watched over you from the start.