Last Thanksgiving, I led a mission trip for our ministry to Thailand. Traveling to this part of Asia is no joke. Hundreds of people were crammed, claustrophobic and jet-lagged on a plane for 17 hours desperately trying to trick themselves to sleep in upright, unyielding airplane seats.
I had a book due to the publisher, so I spent the first part of the flight writing, anticipating dream-land later on. But, when the overhead lights turned off, and my sleep mask was in place, my mind would not let go. So I watched a movie until my eyes burning, but I was unsuccessful.
I needed an attention shift. So, I did what I often encourage my children to do; I came up with a list of thankfuls. I'm thankful:
- To have this opportunity.
- I'm not cold.
- My feet aren't swollen...
I knew my mind was starting to relax when it started wandering, "I'm thankful someone had the courage to believe plane flight was possible, or I might be seasick on a giant barge traveling across the Atlantic. I'm thankful this Boeing 747, filled with people, luggage, gas and supplies, was able to lift off the ground before the runway ended."
And my thoughts kept traveling away from my situation as I thought, "I bet it took a lot of courage believe flight, defying gravity was possible. I believed we could fly because I've flown, but they believed without proof. I wonder how many people bet against the Wright Brothers or thought Columbus would topple off the edge of the earth? Edison probably wondered if he was signing a death certificate when he tried to harness the power of lighting, and Alexander Bell was surely crazy to think people could communicate through a wire.
And what about Noah, who spent his days building a boat when a drop of rain had never fallen from the sky. And do you think people actually believed Mary was pregnant with the Son of God, or that Elisabeth’s John would usher in the Messiah?"
My thoughts went on an on until I was in La-La land. But, it took an attention shift. I had to let go of my dissatisfaction and count my thankfuls before I could relax.
In the same way, sometimes we need an attention shift we're suffocated by doubt. But, it takes guts to have faith in what seems impossible.
In the midst of cynicism, Columbus discovered a new continent and proved the earth was round. Edison harnessed electricity and Alexander Bell patented the first device which became what we know as the telephone. Noah and his family were the only ones to survive the flood and Elisabeth’s son introduced the world to the Savior, while a virgin named Mary had the courage to carry him in her womb.
Do you wake up and wonder if your one little life matters? Some mornings, I still feel like an 11 year old girl as I wake up and wonder if I'll every make a difference. When I doubt or face criticism, I make my soul believe these words, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
One of my pastors, Shane Duffey, said it this way, “Believe more in the promises of God than the circumstance. God doesn’t set us up to fail, but to have faith-SO HAVE FAITH!”
When we change our attention, our affections shift so we can discover the direction of Jesus' open door. If you have the courage to take your attention off yourself and give it to Him, he will give you your heart's desire. What will you dare to believe today? What dreams is Jesus giving your one "little" life?
- What are some things God has asked you to do that you felt like were beyond your capability?
- List the things he has already accomplished through you and some you are still waiting for.
- Take some time to dedicate/rededicate these dreams and desires to Jesus?
Offer It Up:
Jesus, it‘s easier to believe you will use other people for your kingdom to make a difference, but harder to believe you are using me. Help me to see your work in my life and to believe you have much more in store for me; things beyond my imagination or natural capabilities.
© 2013 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.
- When we change our attention, our affections shift so we can discover the direction of Jesus' open door.
- What will you dare to believe today? What dreams is Jesus giving your one "little" life?
- Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above not on earthly things”