My wife and I watched an interesting program about the forests of North Carolina last night as dinner was cooking. In the course of the documentary, I was pleased to learn that the forests of our new home constitute approximately 58% of the land mass. This high percentage of forest lands is unique in that there are only three or four other states in the Union that can boast of a percentage higher than 50%. In point of fact, it was the seemingly endless groves of Longleaf Pine that drew early settlers to the state. North Carolina quickly became the largest producer and supplier of navel stores consisting mainly of tar, pitch and turpentine in the world and a major supplier for the vast fleet of wooden sailing vessels of the British Empire.
I had to giggle a bit as I watched the show and began to nod my head while I called over to my wife exclaiming: “See there is another example of God leading us to the right place at the right time!” You see, He knows how much my wife and I enjoy being out in the forest, enjoying the beautiful trees, abundant wildlife and the peace that it fills us with as we listen to the wind flowing through the trees calling out with the sounds, smells and life of God’s creation!
One of my favorite things to do since moving to our home in the country is to step out on the back deck, stare off into the forested areas next to and behind our property and simply absorb what I see and hear. This has been one of the most wonderful ways to relieve the stress of our situation and turn my thoughts from the battle at hand and begin to praise Papa God for all that He has and continues to do for us! I guess you could say that it quickly changes my focus from the natural to the super-natural!
I was reminded of all this once again this morning as I took the dog out for his morning constitutional. The warm damp morning air aroused my senses and God’s peace over-took any anxiety as I took in the bright greens exploding from the trees and the climbing bushes growing up the low fence in our yard. When I returned to the dining room table and began my Bible Study, I found myself singing:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”
(Helen H. Lemmel, 1918)
Then at the completion of the chorus I could not help but smile again and thank the good Lord for His extraordinary care for us over the last seven to ten years. I learned pretty quickly at the beginning of this walk of faith that I could not depend on people, but had to diligently assert my consciousness and focus onto God and the truth of His Word. And that effort has not abated since that those first couple of years after we returned home to California after attending Bible College in Oklahoma.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us that: “We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith…” (God’s Word ©) Well, let me tell you, as that old Western Airlines commercial used to say, “It’s the only way to fly!” I find that I am constantly re-adjusting my focus from what I am seeing with my eyes or the pain I am reeling from in my heart, to the truth of God’s Word. In fact while praying for Piper this morning, I began to agree with Jesus as He prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane asking Him to “Sanctify or separate Piper in Thy truth, for Thy Word is truth.” (John 17:17 KJV – personalized)
Sanctify or separate her from what? From the lies of sickness and disease and the ravages of what I see happening in her body and mind. What better to focus on than the truth, spirit and power of His Word which is working to perfect a healing and a cure in her rather than the lies of the enemy of our souls who “cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” while the Lord Jesus comes so that we “might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 KJV personalized)
So what will you focus on today? Will it be what you may be seeing or experiencing that might be contrary to what the Word of God says? Or will you “Turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face?” What answer do you really seek? What LIGHT will you turn your attention to this day? I suggest your separation from the symptoms of death to the LIGHT of His Word where you’ll see “The things of this world grow strangely dim, in the LIGHT of His glory and grace!”
Have a great week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Who’s LIGHT am I expecting to seek for and follow today?”