3 O'clock



Where is Your Focus

"On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad for the good things the LORD had done for David and Solomon and for HIS people Israel"

The Holy Spirit does not mess around when we ask God to reveal His Word to us as we begin to pray and study the Scriptures.  These verses were a part of my Bible study today.  They caused me intense grief in my spirit. At first, all I wanted to do was close my Bible and walk away as tears swelled up in my eyes and gently slid down my cheeks.  "Lord," I asked God, "why am I not joyful and glad for the good things You have done for me?" With an ever so gently nudge, the Holy Spirit answered my question with a question, "Where is your focus, Lori?"

BAM! Reality check as I pondered the question God was asking me. Where has my focus been?  Have I been focusing on the wrong things?  Sadly, the answer is yes.  

Let me explain:
There has been great loss in my life over the past seven years.  So, so many losses. This month, another loss was finally coming to an end after a five year court battle that we are obviously going to lose. The appeal date is coming July 6 but honestly we have no faith in our judicial system to do what is right and uphold the law. 

Clearing out our home of 30 years is not difficult because in 2011 we sold every piece of furniture, every knick-knack, rug, painting, home interior decoration, etc. at an auction house.  The money was used to buy food and pay a few bills. It lasted just long enough for hubby to get a very, very low paying job as a handyman. It was enough to buy food. 

This month, I have not been able to think of anything but the losses we have suffered. Worrying constantly about what the future will hold for us this late in our lives. (Hubby is 67 and I am 55)  Focusing on the losses we would never be able to recover.  The company we will never be able to rebuild. The savings we would never be able to replace. The loss of the American Dream. And every time I drive to our old house to retrieve something, my heart sinks. There is no money for the upkeep. Like the children of Israel wept for Solomon's temple and its glory days, I weep seeing my home as it falls deeper and deeper into disrepair, knowing I can do nothing about it.

"Where is your focus, Lori?"  He asked.  My focus lately has been on the losses.  There is no joy in loss.  No matter what type of loss it might be--death of a loved one, financial, home, etc... if we dwell on the loss, we will live in defeat.  I began to pray.

"Help me Lord," I said crying out to God, "remind me of your goodness so I too can come home joyful and glad for the good things you have done."  I sobbed. It was not a pretty cry. It was an ugly cry.  And when the tears finally stopped, little things began to pop up into my mind.

"Remember the job I gave so you would have food?" he reminded me.

"I remember Lord, I was so overjoyed at the time. You literally brought a job right into his hands.  And it was right at the time we needed it most. We danced for joy we were so excited!"

"Remember when they brought the foreclosure papers to your door, how I directed you to a law firm who would help sustain you until I was ready to move you?"

"Oh Lord, I do. I do.  We had no idea what to do or how to fight it so I locked myself in the basement and prayed. It was Thanksgiving week.  You spoke to me and said everything would be OK. Then later, you led me to information I would never have found on my own and to people who could help us."

Little by little, He reminded me of the little things I could be thankful for.  The little things had gotten lost in my memory because all I could focus on was the loss. While we are to grieve, and take as long as it takes, we are not to focus on it.  The Scriptures say, "Give thanks to the LORD for He IS good."  

When I turn my focus on the good things He has done for me, I honor God. BUT it is not for His benefit I thank and praise Him, it is for mine. Focused grief can led me into the pits of hell if I allow it to.  It can cause me to question God. It can led me to unbelief because things are not happening the way I think they should.  In the time frame I think it should.  When I can praise God in my grief, focus my thoughts and offer my thanks for His goodness, the Holy Spirit moves in marvelous ways. 

The God I serve, through my salvation in Jesus Christ, is good.  All the time.  Sometimes I need Him to remind me of this.  Sometimes I need to remind myself.  How about you...do you believe God is good?

Always loving our Lord,
Lori Robbins 

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