Helen Keller (who we all know was blind) once said, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” I’d like to say this: Keep your face to the SONSHINE and your shadows won’t seem so dark. How often do we fret over something that never comes to pass? How many times does something throw us for a loop and we didn’t even see it coming?
Have you noticed that plants lean toward the sunshine? And you have to turn the ﬂowerpot often to create strong straight stems? So let’s think of it this way: The sunshine to the plant is as God’s love is to us. We need to lean toward Him to hear His Words. We need to lean toward Him so we can continually reﬂect His goodness and truth. We need to lean toward Him to stand upright!
Sometimes when we are with someone who is depressed and sad we need to touch their shoulder and say a prayer out loud. Even just a couple sentences could be enough to reﬂect God’s love. You may never know the difference you made in that person’s life, but it is our responsibility to reﬂect His love!
“But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God ’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NCV).
Salvation from sin means moving from spiritual darkness to God’s light! I pray that we will always remember to lean into His light regardless of how dark our world may seem.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing, if we don’t give up” (Gal. 6:9).
Have you ever tried to make a perfectly straight line of footprints in the snow? It’s not as easy as you might think! Most people would tread slow and steady, heads down, focusing intensely on their feet. Whenever someone faces this challenge with their eyes turned downward, you can be sure that they’ll fail. Those footprints will be as crooked as can be.
When you’re walking with your eyes on your feet, you have no idea where you’re going. Your focus is entirely on yourself. There’s no perspective, because you can’t see how you fit into the larger landscape. Genuine focus is missing, since every step treads over the last step’s focal point. You haven’t envisioned yourself as part of a bigger picture. So you simply plod through the snow aimlessly.
The only way to make a straight line of footprints in the snow is to ignore your feet. Instead, look directly ahead and find a fence post, street sign, or a tree in the distance. Then, with your eyes fixed on that target, start to walk towards it. If you’ve locked your focus on something other than yourself, the path will be straight every time.
The same is true in our spiritual lives. If we walk through life concentrating inwardly, we will fail to see the bigger picture and likely go off course. Only focus beyond ourselves, fixing our thoughts and spiritual eyes on Jesus Christ, we can trust our paths will be straight and trustworthy every step of the way.
Show me Your ways, O Lord,
Teach me Your paths;
Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are my God and Savior,
And my hope is in You all day long.
Look up and keep trekking towards Jesus!
Paul prays, “That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparable great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:18-20).
Oh, that the eyes of my heart would comprehend the reality of Paul’s prayer! Do I realize the hope to which He has called me? Do I understand that I am God’s glorious inheritance? Do I comprehend even a small token of the incomparable great power He has for me?
If I live in the reality of this hope and understand how important I am to God and can comprehend even a small portion of His great power for me, I have no reason to worry, no reason to be depressed or discouraged, and no reason for self-pity, because my hope and power are in Christ who is, “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age, bit also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:12).
Remember, nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:37-39).
Father, help me to comprehend more and more of the vast resources that are available for me in Christ. Amen.
— J. David Eshleman