Focus on the forest, not the trees

So this past week, and the weekend have been a convergence of all kinds of themes for me spiritually, and certainly personally as well.  A message of recovery is that the ultimate goal is worth every struggle we face.  Where we were was not where we were meant to be, and the *life* we had isn’t something to return to despite the lies we believe about it.  Make no mistake, whether it’s alcohol, pornography, drugs, debt, codependency, infidelity or unchecked rage it’s a burden to the race we’re called to run.  It’s not an easy path forward, we’re not guaranteed an easy life but we are guaranteed God’s love, forgiveness and governance.  Yesterday’s message was timely for me including several passages from Hebrews, among them chapter 12.

Hebrews 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

How easy it is to lose heart!  To lose focus on the journey and focus instead on the daily struggles.  To have the idea in the back of our heads, things were never this tough before maybe going back to the way it was would be best.  It’s not an unheard of thought, I’m reminded of that time and again and certainly it’s been witnessed throughout history as well.
How many miracles did the Israelites need to witness?  How many times did they need to be shown proof positive of God’s love for them as their Father and provider?  Yet they kept grumbling, wondering out loud if they should go back.  In fact saying, *we had food, all we could eat*… yet they suffered under constant persecution.  However it happens that when we lose sight of Christ, our focus is on our comfort and our struggles in the moment and the short term pain seems like more than we can handle.  But that’s hijacked thinking, a lie and it’s because of His great love we are not consumed, they are new every morning.
Our great task, is to remind ourselves or to ask others for reminders of that when things get overwhelming.  To cast off those things that hinder us, and that includes the thinking that it isn’t worth it.  My yoke is light.  It is very much worth it.  To show up every day and fight to be the men we’re called to be, the fathers we want to be and the individuals we deserve to be for ourselves and for everyone around us.

Grace and peace

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