By Nadir Lawrence, Children's Pastor & Ministry Assistant
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you. - Isaiah 60:1-3
For many years I read and re-read countless scriptures, not ever really sure that what I was reading would become truth for me someday. I was trapped in a bad situation and felt lost and completely broken by the terrible decisions I had made. My life felt like a disaster that I was powerless to stop. I knew only a miracle from God could change my circumstances, but for years I lived in the darkness that Isaiah 60:2 describes.
I couldn’t understand why God wanted to change my life after how disobedient I had been towards Him. My focus had become my desperate situation and the shame I was feeling - which kept me from living the life He commands of His children, the life He’s promised to us. Sin and shame will blind you. The enemy will shift your focus towards other things and even tempt you to give up and walk away from the Lord all together.
Eventually, I reached a point where I chose to believe that God had a greater plan for me and the only way I would ever receive personal breakthrough was when I shifted the focus from my circumstances to what the Lord wanted to do in me. So I kept praying, reading and studying scripture; I believed that one day something would change and I would feel His peace in my life again.
God can pick you up out of a hopeless situation and choose you to tell the story of His redeeming love when you shift your focus to Him and not your circumstances. God penetrated the dark place I was in and drew me out simply because He loves me and showed me that He had so much more in store for my life. It was never easy - and at times, some of the words I read or prayers I prayed barely seemed real, I sometimes just went through the motions just to get through the low points. But I believe those were the times that God was nearest to me and even helped me to press into Him even more. When I began to see the fruit of perseverance & experience my own personal breakthrough, it eventually helped to grow my faith and boldness in my prayer life.
God never tires of hearing His children cry out to Him and asking big things of Him. It says in Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
God wants to overwhelm you with his goodness and favor, He rewards those who seek after him no matter how impossible things can seem and promises to take care of you in your time of need. I encourage you to change your focus on Him, rest in the promises of His word and watch Him transform your life like you never imagined!
Questions for Reflection: