@JeanneTakenaka

Sometimes it’s easier to see the hard than the hope.

Have you ever been in a season where all you could see was the hard? When those seasons become prolonged, our energy is drained, our spirits deflate, and our bodies become weary. And our thoughts?

Our thoughts have the power to help us frame our experiences. We’ll see them through the lens of hard, or we’ll see them through eyes of hope.

When we stumbled through years of infertility, focusing on the hard—the lack, the dream unfulfilled—was safer, than hoping that I could one day be a mother.

Sometimes hope feels risky. If we say we hope in something, or we’re waiting for something, or we’re working for something, we put ourselves out there.

We’re risking the chance of failure, and of hope being disappointed.

Sometimes the hard—even though it hurts—becomes comfortable. We learn how to function in it. Our focus stays centered on our circumstances. Those circumstances then control our thoughts.

When things are hard, where do our eyes shift? Too often, mine focus on the situation, the circumstances. The hurt feelings incurred.

I’m all about looking for a solution. Or at least the easiest way to get beyond the hard and back into comfortable.

There are times God leaves us in the hard circumstances . . . on purpose. Not because He’s capricious or mean. Not because He’s got a vendetta against us. Not because we’ve crossed the “too-many-sins-committed” line.

Sometimes God allows us to reach the end of ourselves so we’ll look beyond what we can do . . . to Jesus.

Honestly? I find it far too easy to look within for my solutions. 

Let’s be honest, when I rely on me for solutions, I have nothing to offer myself besides hopeless commiseration.

I need to look beyond the hard and see the hope. When I take my eyes off of circumstances . . .

When I remove the self-ordained pressure to come up with a solution . . .

that is when I am ready to look to Jesus for help.

The funny thing is? He’s there all along, just waiting for me to come to the place where I see Him.

Where I’ll yield to Him.

Where I’ll trust Him.

Sometimes it’s easier to look at the hard because it’s tangible. I FEEL it. I am weighted down by it.

But I need to look to Jesus.

He’s the only real hope-giver.

He’s the only One who can lift the burdens I carry and bear them for me.

He’s the One who refreshes my heart.

First, I must take my eyes off of me and my resources and place them on Him. Not on His hands and what He can do.

But on Jesus Himself.

When I remember that Jesus loves and is walking with me? When I can fix my heart on the truth that He cares about me?

That’s where I find hope.

He’s so much bigger than I am, than we are.

His plans are more amazing than we can comprehend. Even when they include painful steps in the journey, the pain is only there to conform us into the image of Christ.

To carve out hidden sins and smooth into us the ability to reflect Him more clearly to our world.

And then we can offer hope to others as they see Him reflecting through us. As they experience His love through us.

What about you? Where is your focus when you’re in the hard times? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when things in your life seem to be falling apart?

Click to Tweet: Sometimes hope feels risky.

Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup