“Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal and every mouth which has not kissed him.”
I Kings 19:18
As someone once said, “If you look at others, you’ll get distressed. If you look at yourself, you’ll get depressed. But, if you’ll keep your eyes on Jesus, you’ll get blessed.”
It’s all about focus.
Everyone of us has a little “Martha” in us—you know, the Type A, compulsive, everything’s-got-to-be-in-order-and-in-its-place sister of Mary (Lk. 10:38-42). And, if the truth be known, everyone of has a little of Elijah in us when it comes to feeling like we’re the only one who’s faithfully serving the Lord God of Hosts (I Kings 19:10, 14).
But, today’s Manna reminds us we’re not the only one.
Now, the devil (and our own selfish pride) doesn’t want us to believe that. And, even if we were the only ones serving Him, we’d still not be alone—not when Christ, our Faithful Friend, has promised to “never leave us or forsake us” (Heb. 13:5b; Ps. 46:1; Prov. 18:24). Glory!!
Years ago someone wrote a Gospel song, entitled “Follow Me,” that became a favorite for many years. Its second verse said “I work so hard for Jesus, I often boast and say, ‘I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to walk the narrow way. I gave up fame and fortune—I’m worth a lot to Thee.’ But, then I hear Him say so tenderly, ‘My Feet were also weary upon the Calvary road. My Cross became so heavy, I fell beneath the load. Be faithful, weary Pilgrim, the Morning I can see. Just lift your cross and follow close to Me.”
Yes, it’s all about focus and faithfulness.
The “race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1c) is never just like someone else’s. For now, theirs may be on a mountaintop, but yours is down in a dark, dank valley, where no light of day you see.
But, stay focused, Pilgrim. . .always “looking unto Jesus, the Author AND Finisher (Perfecter) of your faith” (Heb. 12:2a). . .and soon you’ll discover His “Grace is sufficient” (II Cor. 12:9-10) and His Joy is renewing (Jn. 15:11).
Truly, our Journey is much richer when others walk with us—encouraging us and helping “bear our burdens” (Gal. 6:2). But, there are certain times when our Path (like Jesus’) will take us through narrow passes and heartbreaking sorrows where no one else can go and no words of cheer are ever heard.
But, do not fear or “grow weary in well-doing” (Gal. 6:9), faithful one.
Instead, again, “remember that you’re surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses and lay aside every weight and sin that so easily trips you up as you run patiently the Course the Lord has set before you” (Heb. 12:1).
That way you can keep on keepin’ on when it’d be so easy to give up. And, in the process you’ll discover His “Joy unspeakable and full of Glory” that comes to those who remember there’s always One Who walks with us every step of the way (Dan. 3:19-25; Mt. 28:20b; Heb. 13:5b). Hallelujah!! Thank You, Lord.
June 12, 2011