When I Get in a Twit
"Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:19-23 (RSV)
Recently, my husband made the decision to have a tree cut down in our front yard. He'd consulted with a professional who told him the tree was sick and a storm could cause the tree to break and fall. Plus, this tree had been dropping these prickly gumball things that drive my husband crazy.
So, with one swift decision and a few strong men, the tree was gone.
I wasn't in any of the conversations about the tree.
I didn't know it was sick.
I didn't know it could fall during a storm and damage our home or our cars.
I didn't mind the prickly gumball things.
All I knew was I walked out my front door and a tall, lovely, shade-providing tree was just chopped down. My heart seized at the sight. What in heavens? I called my husband in a panic.
His calm and reassuring explanation didn't make me feel better. Every time I looked outside, all I could see was the stump. The gaping hole in the typical landscape of our front yard. The shade that was missing.
I couldn't stop thinking about it, and before I knew it I was in a twit! Hyper focused on what was missing, I couldn't appreciate the bigger picture.
We live out in the country and have countless trees all around our house. Lots and lots of trees. But the more I got all in a twit about that one tree that was gone, the less I noticed all the others.
Distracted by one wrong thing, I missed out on seeing many right things.
I think this is a tactic the evil one uses against me. Against you. Against us.
The devil loves to get us to focus on the little that's wrong so we miss the big picture of all that's right.
Recently I noticed something in Lamentations chapter 3 verses 19-23 that gave me a new strategy. Look how the writer's depressing outlook turns around when he intentionally calls better things to mind:
"Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." (RSV)
So today when I'm tempted to get in a twit and start focusing on something that's wrong, I'll stop myself and say, "but" ... and then start listing things that are right.
My front yard is missing a tree, BUT ... my husband has promised to plant a new one. One that isn't sick and doesn't drop prickly things.
My husband didn't talk to me about the tree before it was chopped down, BUT ... he was being my family's protector. One who cares enough to just take care of what needs to be taken care of. One that I can trust.
I have a tendency to get in a twit about little things, BUT ... today is a new day with new possibilities. And I'm going to try to remember all that is right instead of focusing on the little that may be wrong.
Dear Lord, I want to follow Your teaching and focus on the blessings You have placed in my life. Please help me learn to look through Your lens and to see today as a new day full of Your mercies. Mercies for me, and mercies for others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
What is one situation in your life where you need to shift your focus? For Lysa, it was to look at the many things that were right in her life, instead of focusing on the one thing that was wrong.
Make a list of your "BUTs" and how you see God's mercies in them.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)