Links Daily Devotional

When Distractions Come

“But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19, NIV)

Distraction is a difficult problem to deal with when we are trying to accomplish something purposeful in life. A golfer’s ability to maintain his or her focus in the midst of distraction often sets them apart from the rest of the field. Accomplished players somehow keep their mind in check and refocus on their goal. This is another skill that they have honed in their pursuit of perfection. The best in the world are not spared from distraction, but they figure out a way to not allow it to let them lose focus on their immediate goal.

As Christians living in a sinful world, we are also faced with many things that would distract us from our purpose and God’s plan for our life. Our intentions are directed toward being obedient to God, but we often find ourselves in situations that seem very far from where we thought we would be. Finding ourselves far from where God wants us, we spend a great deal of our time living with anxiety and fear.

This kind of life is not God’s plan for us. He promises us a life of joy and peace and his direction for our life. He promises us that he has a plan for each of us—plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.

So we love God and want to be obedient to him—we are grateful for all he has done for us and trust in him to save us. Then life happens. We have trouble at work and our job might be in jeopardy. We are concerned for our future welfare. We turn on the television and see yet another terror attack or random act of senseless violence, and we wonder if God is aware that the world is spiraling out of control right in front of us. We get the call from the doctor and the news is not good. There is treatment, but it will be inconvenient and painful. Our spouse is unhappy and we can’t seem to make things work the way they used to. Should we stay or should we go?

Distractions. These are the things that cause us to lose our focus. What can we do, what skill can we learn, that will help us to focus on the only one who can save us and help us reach our goal?

In my own experience as a Christian, I have found that I can only refocus when I redirect where I am looking. If I look at the distraction—the illness, the fear, the hopelessness—I am overcome by it. If I look to the one who made me and focus on him, I gain strength and a clear vision of his purposes for me. God’s greatest desire for each of us is for us to acknowledge our inability to do anything in our own strength and to lean on him every minute of everyday. Let’s say it again: We overcome distraction by narrowing our focus toward the only one who can save us. Remember, “they that wait upon the LORD will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

God created us, he empowers us, and he loves us. All we have to do is acknowledge that we are helpless on our own. A life of great purpose is ours if we want it. Yes, it will be filled with many distractions that would try to take us down a different path, but God is bigger than anything that can get in our way. We aren’t big enough, but he is!

To gain the prize we must not let the distractions and cares of life overcome us. God stands ready to get us through every one of them if we just learn to trust in his goodness and love for us.

Linda Ballard
July 9, 2015
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