Life can weigh us down at times; so much so, that all we can see is our shoes.
Our world gets small when we look down. It is easy to analyze and focus on our stuff or the faults of others. This can result in negativity that can stunt growth and narrow our viewpoint. Our UP-look gives us perspective.
Some things in life are beyond us, and when we try to wrap our minds around those difficult things, we can get confused and lose the mystery. People can be a mystery. Bad things happening to godly people can be a mystery. The uniqueness in a relationship that once drew us together can be lost the moment we try to change or control one another.
Looking up in prayer can help bring wisdom and understanding to what we are experiencing.
In the Gospels, Jesus often came across burdened people. In Luke 13:10-17, Jesus touched a woman crippled and bent over. He spoke a word of healing and she was straightened. She had a personal encounter and was loosed from her burdens.
What is not in the Lord’s care can weigh us down. The landscape of life can include some unwelcome guests like depression, a pressure that resists our upward view. Oppression can be an added weight, like a wet blanket that pushes us down inside and out. There may be compression too, a sense of claustrophobia where everything feels like all is closing in on every side.
Maybe you’re familiar with one (or all) of these destructive agents.
Looking up and away from the familiar is the beginning. This is not ignoring weakness, but it is bringing other things into focus – life-giving things. Jesus promised to be a shield about us and the lifter of our hearts (Psalms 3:3.) This is our provision.
Where Do You Look?
Where you look determines your relief or heaviness. Looking at ourselves in a negative way can compound our heaviness. The psalmist tells us in Psalms 121:1-3, “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keeps thee will not slumber.”
Jesus promises to be your strength and life support (Psalms 55:18.) Look away and look unto Him.
Positive thinking or denial of the obvious doesn’t deliver the full answer. The answer is to look into the eyes of Jesus and trade our shame for Grace. We may feel too weak to do this, but as we look to Jesus, He will bridge the gap and do the rest.
What we behold is what we become, the Psalmist says in Psalms 17:15 “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
Our healing comes by intentionally looking at the cross. We see this illustrated in Numbers 21. As the Israelites looked away from their snakebites, healing came. Looking away from the crisis and the hurt and receiving love leads us out of our pit (Psalms 40:1-2.)
Solomon writes, “A false balance is an abomination, but a just weight is his delight….” (Proverbs 11:1.) God’s Word brings balance. We may think all balance is determined by the proper weight distribution on either side of the scales but in the spiritual realm, it is different. It is the content that determines the power of influence. What we focus on builds momentum. Our focus empowers and releases authority which can overcome destructive thought patterns. No matter how small the promise or truth appears to be, it is far greater than anything coming against us.
No matter how small a look may seem—or a step in the right direction—this potential can release all the power of heaven.
We are all familiar with the term “backsliding”. Failure often can bring us backward and we lose ground. When we fall, grace is there every time to move us forward! Just like an escalator, His love moves us closer to Him. The consequences are there but there is also capacity and comfort to grow.
No one likes to fall. Falling hurts. Watching my son learn to ride a bike was exciting but also painful. He had all the gear to lessen the blow of his fall but falling, scraping and blood was inevitable. Getting back up and trying again taught him that some lessons of growth have failure in them.
Look into the eyes of Jesus today and receive words from above. Look away from the things that steal your joy and energy and choose to worship. We may tell ourselves we can’t or that we don’t have the desire or strength, but the truth is the desire and strength come from the Lord. Jesus will free you like a bird from a cage and release your soul from prison to praise him (Psalms 142:7.)