Five Minute Friday scribblings, Focus

Focus: Peace in Hard Seasons

Winter leaves on snow

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—FOCUS. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

FOCUS

There’s something so precious about a baby gazing into it’s mama’s eyes. The complete trust, adoration, and love that jumps from tiny eyes to grown-wise eyes that melts my heart.

When I think about Isaiah 26:3, this is what comes to mind. That baby may live in a tumultuous situation, but if it has its mama (and its papa), nothing else really matters. Babies trust their parents to take care of them, to protect them, to provide for them, to love them.

I believe this is how God wants us to look at him.

Life has been challenging these past couple weeks. Disappointments, injuries, and a fair amount of chaos have torn my eyes away from the Lord.

And, unfortunately, I somehow slipped from that place of trusting the Lord to walk with me, to thinking I need to “handle life” on my own. I have struggled with keeping my heart focused on Jesus.

But, when I can look into His eyes—when my mind remembers Who He is—I can rest in Him.

Is 26-3 storm background copy

How do we truly get to know God’s perfect peace?

First by keeping our minds stayed on Jesus. Keeping our thoughts focused on the truth of who He is.

Second, when we trust Him. With everything. The disappointments, the struggles, the hard that joins us on our path.

It’s when we remember who God is in the midst of life’s hard that we can know God’s perfect peace. It’s when we trust Him with all of who we are, when we choose to believe He is who He says He is . . . this is when we can know his peace.

Sun's rays

I want to be like that baby, looking into Jesus’ eyes and not worrying about my present circumstances. I want to see Him through eyes of adoration, complete trust, and deepening love.

And this happens when I’m focused on Him rather than my circumstances.

This song is really speaking to my spirit right now. I hope it doe to yours as well.

What about you? What are you walking through right now that’s causing a lack of peace in your heart? How do you focus your eyes on Jesus when circumstances press in close to you?

 

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—FOCUS

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28 thoughts on “Focus: Peace in Hard Seasons”

  1. I love that song, Jeanne. “Just Be Held.” It has encouraged me to no end as I’ve sometimes struggled with our family’s transition from the Middle East to Texas, knowing we’ll go back in May! And Yes, let’s keep our focus on Jesus. Always. Let’s trust. Like those babies. 🙂

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    1. This song is reminding me that I don’t have to hold everything. Someone bigger is here to fill in that job. I love the picture of God just holding us . . . if we let Him. Your transition will be a big one. Culturally, socially, and for you probably finding your purpose in Texas. How long have you been in the Middle East? And yes, let’s trust. 🙂

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  2. Beautifully expressed, Jeanne.

    I wish I could see it this way. But what I hear is, “Get. Up. NOW. You can rest when you’re dead.”

    The message I get is that I am expected to deal with it, and not to complain. There are no rights. There are only duties, and the final duty enfolds my death.

    Not well enough to say more.

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    1. Andrew, we’ve had this conversation before. It’s always interesting to see how God speaks differently to different people. He knows what each of us needs to hear, and He knows how to say it so we listen. I’m praying for you, my friend.

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    2. Andrew, Your battle is life and death struggle like jungles of Nam or hard hot sands of Middle East, but you are alone in yourself with this deathmatch. God is with you there and tho I don’t know you, I’ve read your comments. I admire your courage and strength of will that keeps you going each day. I’ve been praying for you. May the power of God strike a chord in your soul bringing His healing touch to your inner struggles. May His peace rest on you.

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  3. My first reaction isn’t to “let go and let God” but to fix it, whatever it is. You are right. That hasn’t led to peace. Surrender to God’s timing, will, grace…that’s what brings peace. I’m just good at prolonging it. I’m glad to read this today, Jeanne. I can ‘hear’ that you’ve drawn closer to Him and finding your rest.

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    1. Debby, I tend to be like you. I’m a do-er. Let’s just fix it, already! God has a way of “helping” learn to let Him be the do-er, and we are the be-ers. The ones who learn how to BE in His presence. And yes, surrendering to God’s timing is rarely easy, but it’s always best. And it’s best done with a generous portion of HIs grace poured out on us.

      You are always so encouraging, Debby. Thank you for that.

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  4. I’ve watched some people go through horrific periods of life. Unchangeable circumstances that altered their daily lives for long stretches of time—some for the rest of their lives. I’ve noticed one constant in those who had found peace despite their circumstances—they’re the ones who spent a great deal of time praising God throughout their trials. Having a bonafide heart of worship tends to point the way to peace.

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    1. Gene, I believe you’re right. When we choose to praise God, regardless of our circumstances, we know His peace. That’s definitely an essential element of walking through the hard seasons with peace. When we can choose to take our eyes off of ourselves and trust Him, that’s when we can genuinely praise Him from our hearts. Thanks for adding this to the conversation. You’re absolutely right!

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    1. Rachel, if God didn’t have this season in my life, I think I’d crumple in a heap and cry myself dry. And then cry some more. Not that some tears aren’t bad, but I hope you know what I mean. 🙂 I’m so glad He’s got us! Have a great weekend, my friend!

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  5. Oh, I hear you on this. I am going through some things right now that brings a little anxiety to my life but I find that focusing on God really helps me find peace. I keep telling myself that He does not give something I cannot handle. So continue to stay in pray and worship.

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    1. I agree with you, Maria. I had a friend who gave me the word picture of living above our circumstances. When we focus our eyes on the Lord and choose to look at Him rather than our circumstances, we can walk with peace. I, too, am comforted by the truth that He doesn’t give us something we can’t handle . . . with His help. 🙂 I’m so thankful you visited today. Have a great weekend!

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  6. Love this. I haven’t written my post yet because my own baby has been in my arms gazing at me. (And, when I can put her down, my three-year-old just wants to do puzzles…) I needed to remember that this is my focus. And, that God is looking at me in the same way – putting things aside so we can simply be.

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    1. Annie, I had to grin when I read that you were holding your baby and hadn’t written your post, yet. You are in such a treasure of a time with her. You know how quickly those days pass. And isn’t it amazing that God looks on us the way we look on our children? That though floors me every time. It’s been one of those crazy weeks. I’m looking forward to reading your post this weekend. 🙂

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  7. In my hard times, it always eventually comes down to praise. I need to praise God and count my blessings if I don’t want my focus to slip into a pity party for poor little me.

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    1. Anita, yes, praise. In some of my difficult times, offering that sacrifice of praise to God brought peace to me too. Trusting Him with those hard times and praising Him is such a great way to be able to walk with God’s peace.

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    1. Lisa, I take great comfort knowing God is still here, even when we question, have fears, when we doubt. I’m so glad He’s bigger than all of that. And that He loves us through them. May we both learn to walk well in His peace.

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  8. Jeanne, you have met with the Lord in life’s hard places and it’s coming across in this beautiful, encouraging post. These words are so helpful: “It’s when we remember who God is in the midst of life’s hard that we can know God’s perfect peace”. Amen! How easily we slip into forgetfulness. Bless you, friend. May you continue to know the comfort of His presence looking at His beloved child with great delight in His eyes. ❤

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Joy. We all meet with Him in our hard places. I definitely go through times of forgetting He is right here with me. Thank goodness God doesn’t take offense when I do! Thanks for your encouragements. As I walk this season, I’m learning to turn to Him more quickly. Oh, that this become the initial response every time the unexpected happens.

      I appreciate you, friend.

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