Monday, June 17, 2013

Strangely Dim

There are a lot of things I could be freaking out about right now. First of all, it's summer. That means I don't get my regular paycheck from CCA, so money is always a bit of an issue during this season. Second, trying to sell a house is superduper stressful and hey, guess what? It costs money. Third, I'm about a week and a half behind on my yearbook, because that's how I roll with stress (I ignore it), and I'm hoping they continue to extend grace to me. Fourth, staying at home with a kid is HARD. I don't know how you full-timers do it. The three months in the summer wears me out. And finally, you know. The whole miscarriage thing. I should be in the fetal position under my covers without coming out for days at a time. 

But I'm not. I can't quit repeating these words to people who extend sympathy (which has been so appreciated): I'm okay. I really, really am. All those things weighing on me? Sure, they're big. Some of them are important and some are urgent and some are both, so I can't pretend they don't exist. But they're not my life. 

In fact, my life isn't really even about me. If you've known me awhile, you may be shocked that I've finally come to that conclusion. But, truth. If you need proof that life isn't about me or you or even your family, I saw this picture on Facebook the other day that puts it into perspective. 

We're a speck in the universe, a speck in time. But Jesus is forever. The creator of everything that exists, the author of life, the eternal God. He is the center of everything. 

A friend was listening to the new Francesca Battistelli song the other day called "Strangely Dim," and she texted me the lyrics as an encouragement:
But when I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
All my worries fade
And fall to the ground
Cause when I seek Your face
And don't look around
Any place I'm in
Grows strangely dim

And it's so true. Fixing my eyes on Jesus doesn't mean that problems don't exist or that I shouldn't take care of them. It means that He is so much bigger than everything that I have going on. I think I prefer the old hymn that says it so concisely: 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

If I live from an earthly perspective, I would be completely overwhelmed right now (well, most of the time). But I am choosing to look at life from a kingdom perspective. Ephesians 2:6 says that God "raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms" (NIV). When you're seated in the heavens with Jesus, your perspective changes. We have no choice but to view it through kingdom eyes. And the Bible makes it pretty clear that we cannot earn that seat in the heavens. Once we are saved, once we have trusted Jesus, we are called saints. We have the authority of Christ in us. In Ephesians chapter 1, Paul prays for all believers the following: "that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms" (1:18-20, NIV). 

Wow. Just, wow. The same power that RAISED CHRIST from the DEAD is IN US. And I'm worried about what, again? 

If I want to be more than a speck in the universe and a speck in time (and I think we all want to have significance), then I'm going to start walking in that power that is in me. I want to see life spring forth where there is death, destruction, and desperation. I want to see diseases healed and hope burst from people's hearts. I want to see young people walk in their own destinies and callings that God has laid before them. I want to see people who call themselves Christians (because they attend a church, occasionally give money, and maybe serve charitably) start embracing that same power and walking in the Holy Spirit in order to effect change in our homes, communities, organizations, schools, and nation. 

What can I do, what can YOU do, to start turning our eyes upon Jesus? To look at life from His kingdom perspective and let the things of earth grow strangely dim? Let's rise up, friends. Haven't you been searching for more? Let's walk this out. I'm so ready. 

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