Posted by Laryssa Toomer
As a contact lens wearer, most people can’t tell that I’m very near-sighted. This simply means I can see close-up but anything at a distance is fuzzy. Our alarm clock continues to be a red-blur to this day! I also keep several pairs of prescription glasses close by for my own safety. Attempts to do certain tasks such as driving without them is flat-out dangerous.
We are often just as vulnerable to skewed vision and danger when we attempt to do life and ministry without a continual return to beholding the glory of the Lord, without the lens of God and His Word. I’ve experienced numerous spiritual crashes and bumps as a result of living in my own [religious] strength or leading from a place of hurt, skepticism or weariness. Our intentions are one thing and yet our behavior and swirling thoughts are quite another. Fears. Doubts. Hurts. Distrust. Loneliness. Worry. Uncertainties. The what-ifs and whys—all the secret mediations that no one sees but God. Before we know it, we find ourselves being led by those things instead of the sweet rule of Jesus.
Earlier this year, my family asked me, “Are you okay? You’re sorta quiet.” I looked at them and proclaimed the words of Po in Kung Fu Panda 2, “I’m not freaking out. I’m freaking in.” It’s easy as leaders to self-protect, become scripted, poised and outwardly-focused while inwardly our hearts are a hot mess in need of grace. We won’t be void of trouble and hurt in this world but we must guard our hearts against anything that seeks to rule it except for Jesus. Regardless of what’s going on around and IN me, I have to ask the tough questions, “Am I looking to Jesus? How will I respond in light of the Gospel?” Game-changers every time.
Much like putting on my glasses before I get out of bed in the morning, I need grace to put on Christ so that I don’t lose sight of who He is and who I am in Him…my transformation hinges on it. I desperately need to see others and life through the lens of God’s perspective. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isa. 55:9)—higher than what we see and feel, higher than our freaking outs and ins.
What are you attempting today in life and ministry in your own strength, sight, or emotions? How does God’s grace rescue you whenever you’re tempted to be led by fears, distrust, and shaky circumstances?