What’s holding you back?

I have an assignment for you today.

Don’t worry. I won’t be collecting papers or giving out grades. This is an open book, self-guided assignment. 

Think back over the last 24-72 hours of your life. Longer, if you’d like.

What have you been watching? What have you been listening to? What have you been scrolling through on your phone or computer?

Gutter in, gutter out, is the old adage. Whatever your mind is focused on, whatever you spend the most time ruminating about, those things are the things that will drive much of your emotion, intellect, and mental well-being. 

Personally, I’ve been especially convicted lately about how I spend my time and what my mind is consuming. I have realized anew that I have a problem with media consumption as I have work to  finish edits to a new novel over these last few weeks. Now, since I have a full time day job as a  nurse working on a COVID-19 pulmonary unit at the highest acuity hospital in the state, some of the delays and self-disappointment in progress are to be expected. But honestly, whether working on a novel or not, I waste a lot of time scrolling through social media that just plain doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of eternity.

Now more than ever, the world needs hope. Now more than ever the world needs you and your kindness, your love, and your gifts. As such, it makes sense that the unseen powers and principalities (Ephesians 6:12) are fighting for your—for our—attention. It makes sense that situations in and out of our control are distracting us from our passion and calling. It makes sense that if we want to make a difference, we are feeling like that’s an insurmountable, worthless goal that we’d just as soon give up on. 

But don’t you do it.

Don’t you give up. 

People may say we’re crazy. The odds of us succeeding may seem impossible. The world may mock our goals and dreams. People in our own families may think we’ve gone rogue and don’t understand our callings. 

Do it anyway. 

2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.”

Ephesians 3:20 says the Lord is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think…

…if only we focus our hearts on Him.

Dear friends, the Lord has planted you where you are for a reason, especially for such a time as this. Shove aside the things that are distracting you, even if it means keeping the TV off for days or weeks, removing apps from your phone, or adding apps that encourage you to immerse yourself in the Word. 

The seasons are changing, the world is changing, but the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If you’re feeling unsettled and unsure, check your thought life. I know I am. Our good, good Father has extraordinary  plans for each of us, if only we would focus on Him.

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