I just watched a video on YouTube yesterday from Elevation Church—called “Fix Your Focus.”
I took some time out of the evening to do something I haven’t done in a while—(at the prompting of God)—shot some random pictures. The leaves from the fall are still hidden in the yard, but the weeds from the spring-like weather are springing up and creating beautiful patterns of purple and splotches of yellow in the still seemingly-dead grass.
As I was reviewing these pictures, I almost deleted this first one—but then I realized, it fit exactly what God has been telling me lately as He has been bringing me out of the depths of the darkness of the soul. As I keep reviewing them, God is telling me a story through them. Recently, I have found myself being very critical of others and wondered what was going on with me. I was depressed, and just downright down in the dumps.
Facing recent rejection in an area of my life, I was sorely focused on that and what it meant as another strike against me, my talent, my giftings, my future. (me, me, me)
Tonight, I watched a random INFP video that I came across that spoke of the dark side of the INFP. In it, the narrator plainly spoke the same thing—how when we get stuck in one of our “modes”, especially after facing a rejection in life, we tend to become withdrawn and over time, even hyper critical of others and can no longer see the good in life.
Though I resisted for a minute, I finally gave into the prompting of God to go and sit on the porch for a few minutes with my steaming cup of evening coffee. I walked outside for what I thought would just be for a few minutes, but it turned into an evening-long conversation with God instead.
That is when I noticed the purple ground cover springing up in the middle of the brown grass. It had been there for days, if not weeks by now. But I was finally just now taking the time to notice it.
Though I have been feeling that creative urge to do so, I have been resisting that holy unction of the Spirit, beckoning me to connect with God through my favorite pastime of taking photos of nature. I’ve wanted to instead stay stuck in my own darkened world with the shades drawn. Truth be told, I haven’t taken many photos recently at all–which is sad, because I really do love and miss it. (And looking back, I can see weekend after weekend that He has tried to get me to get up on a Saturday and go, just spend time with Him.)
Tonight, as I sat there on the porch with my cup of coffee, I felt that urge come back to go inside and grab my camera, and shoot some photos of these pretty flowers before the sun set. Though I resisted for a minute, I finally just went with it. I won’t lie–I love unexpected surprises like that from my Father, where He draws me to Himself. The hard part is just getting myself to stop being obstinate.
Thinking back on it, I do believe that I spoke a prayer out loud to Him right before that moment, in which I confided to Him that sometimes I just need to be reminded of His beauty and His glory. That’s when I felt the prompting to go outside, and as soon as I took those few steps, He met me right where I was.
Even though to me they were weeds—in the dead grass—these purple flowers were springing forth and bringing new life to the hibernating lawn. They were representative of God’s grace in our hard times, and His glory–just as the weeds in our life sometimes are allowed to grow so that we can see God’s beauty and His glory even while we are still in the hibernating / feeling dead phase.
Even in the middle of our drought, He is always good, and He never leaves us. He beckons us back to Himself to hold and protect us once again, even when we have fought against His loving arms and strayed out on our own. He calls us back to Himself–every time. Sometimes it just takes a long time to come around and finally find ourselves in submission to Him once again–and then we find ourselves wondering what took us so long.
He comes to us, even in our darkest night and in the driest time of our life. He is always there. We may mistake His promptings and His graces as inconveniences at the moment, but if we slow down, we see something much more intimate and designed just for us by the Creator of the Universe. And He speaks to us through those things—if we just listen.
I almost deleted this picture, but it fits the message from the sermon I heard yesterday:
You can focus on the bad, dead and ugly.
Or you can choose to focus on the good, healthy, and newness of life.
Whatever you focus on, you begin to see more of, and the more beautiful it becomes:
Even when we are spiritually alive, we can get thrown off track easily.
We can focus on the blessing of the gifts in front of us, and end up blocking out the glory of the One who gifted it to us.
Or We can try to focus on both the gift and the Giver, and everything becomes distorted.
But when we focus on the Glory of God, the gifts become less important and our Father providing them becomes even more glorious:
His Glory is all around us. Even in the weeds of life. We just have to take the time to pause and look for the beauty of His glory.
And sometimes, that takes a little drying out (spiritually)
before we see the beauty in what He has allowed, to bring us even closer to Himself.
This has got me thinking. I kind of envy the bird. Clothed, fed, and not concerned about doing anything, except glorifying God.
I want to be more like him. (–and in turn, more like Him.)
On that level, he can see the beauty of God’s creation all around him.
What looks like a bunch of dead grass and weeds to us is infinitely more beautiful in the eyes of the one who is completely reliant on God to provide every need for him.
And don’t these flowers remind you of a person praying, their heads bowed and their hands out before them, open to receiving God’s blessing? How awesome is our God for allowing me to see that tonight–something so unexpected, and so profound for this season of my life.
Do a little more praying, and a lot less worrying and hibernating. Enjoy the weeds–because they are bringing out the beauty in life. Find God in the most unexpected places–just look. And ask Him to reveal Himself to you so that you can draw near to Him and worship Him as the child of God that you are.