Distraction

Distractions“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”
Psalm 119:37

In this day and age, distractions are very easy to come by.  Distractions may be voluntary or involuntary.  When life gets us down, we find something to distract the mind from thinking about how things are going.  We find things to distract us when we don’t want to do something that may be too challenging, difficult, or something we just simply don’t want to do.  Work, finances, people and life in general can all distract us from the path that God wants us to walk down.  David understood the dangers of distractions.  He rights, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” (Psalm 119:37)  Worthless distractions come across as being just a part of who we are and what we need to do.  As distractions consume more of our time, often the first thing to go is our time with God.  We suddenly don’t have time to read the Bible or pray as often as we did, and eventually it disappears all together.  As much as you may feel that devoting more time to the distraction will help fix the problem, the burdens of life only become heavier.  It can feel like Christ has walked away from you and left you to carry your load, when in fact it is us who have walked away from Him.  When we turn from our distraction and draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:8).  Ask Christ today to help keep your eyes focused on Him and away from the things that distract you from your walk.  If you stay focused on Him, the difficult things suddenly become easier and the burden becomes lighter (Matthew 11:28).

Unexpected

Risen“He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come see where his body was lying”
Matthew 28:6

After a tragedy, it is easy to go about your business lost in a haze.  Everything seems mundane and without purpose.  Major tragedies can rock us to the core of our being, shattering what faith we may have.  After seeing her Lord and Savior hanging on the cross, I’m sure that Mary Magdalene was struggling to figure out what she was going to do with her life.  Jesus had done so much for her.  He had been the one who showed her real love and forgave her sins.  She had traveled with Him and helped minister to the disciples and other people who followed Him.  She anointed his feet with perfume because she owed her life to him.  In short, the man she owed her life to had been crucified.  She had to go on with her life, so she did.  Three days after Jesus had been buried, she made the journey to see His tomb.  Maybe she was looking for answers to all of the questions swimming through her head.  I would have been.  What she finds however, changes everything.  When she arrives at the tomb, the ground shakes in a violent earthquake, an angel appears and the stone rolls back.  The angel sits on the stone and says to her, “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come see where his body was lying.” (Matthew 28:6)  At a time when Mary was focused on tragedy and trying to figure out how she was going to live the rest of her life, Jesus brings the unexpected.  But look at how Mary reacts.  “Afraid yet filled with joy” (Matthew 28:8) she left the tomb to go find the disciples and tell them the news.  What a strange combination of emotions.  Afraid because she had no idea what was happening or what to expect, yet filled with joy because Jesus, her Savior was ALIVE!  This is where God wants us to live.  It is natural to be afraid when you don’t know what is going on and you are not in control.  As humans, we think logically and naturally expect things to happen in a certain order.  Jesus died, Mary expected to visit his tomb and find the stone still there.  God wants us to remember that He is in control and He works through the unexpected.  At the same time, there is joy in this.  Joy in knowing that whatever the future holds, it is going to be great because Christ is alive!  We may not know how God will use the hard times in our lives, but we can take joy in knowing that what ever it is, Christ our Savior will be right there beside us because He is risen!