Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Will Lift My Eyes


Luke 21:25
There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

We have witnessed the turmoil and suffering from Hurricane Harvey.  The flood damage in Houston and other parts of Texas, as well as Louisiana, will not be easily or readily resolved.  As a nation, to help our fellow Americans recover fully, we are in it for the long haul.

And we pray.

Out west, wild fires rage, destroying acres upon acres of land.  Forests, wildlife and homes up in smoke.  The recovery will be slow, tedious, arduous.

And we pray.

Mexico experiences the largest earthquake the country has witnessed in over a century.  Destruction, loss of life, a monumental crisis for all those living there.

And we pray.

Now Hurricane Irma churns toward Florida, promising storm surges the likes of which haven't been seen in ages.  A monster of a maelstrom, which has demolished islands in the Caribbean, and has caused most of Florida's population to evacuate ahead of its wrath.  Already, federal funds are earmarked to help in what is expected to be another long-range ascension to normalcy.

So much loss.  So much sorrow.  So much tragedy.

And we pray.

And some ask:  Are these the signs of end times?

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)

We cannot know.  But we can watch.

And pray.

And we can turn our full attention to God, not allowing the afflictions of the day distract us from the focus which should be first and foremost in our lives.  These timely words from Max Lucado touched my heart and held it this weekend, and I simply had to share them with you all:

Turn your attention away from the crisis and, for a few minutes, celebrate God.  It does you no good to obsess yourself with your trouble.  The more you stare at it, the bigger it grows.  Yet, the more you look to God, the quicker the problem is reduced to its proper size.  This was the strategy of the psalmist:
I will lift my eyes to the hills -
from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.  (Psalm 121:1)
Do you see the intentionality in those words?  I will lift up my eyes.
Do not meditate on the mess.  You gain nothing by setting your eyes on the calamities.  You gain everything by setting your eyes on the Lord.

In these troubled times, let us all lift up our eyes unto the Lord, our God, from whom the true help will always come.  May we, suffering and struggling in the temporal, never lose sight of the eternal promise.

God's grace and blessings be with you all!

No, I'm not officially back to my regular blogging schedule as yet, but I was so moved to share these thoughts with you, I couldn't say "no" to God.  If you would like to leave prayer requests for friends and family affected by these recent natural disasters, please do so in the comments.

28 comments:

  1. Very good and very timely. Thanks for breaking your "blog fast" Martha to share these.

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    1. You are so welcome, Bill! Looks like we'll be in tropical storm winds here in the Atlanta area come Monday night. Prayers are so appreciated!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. And we pray. Thanks for reminding us to take our eyes off the storm and turn them to Him. He is our strength. Blessings in the storms of life.

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    1. Yes, Paul, may we keep our eyes focused on God at all times. We need not fear the storms as He is with us in the midst of them.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Amen! Lift our eyes to the Maker of Heaven and earth.

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    1. From whom comes our strength . . .
      Love and blessings, Beckie!

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    1. Yes, Jay, we pray without ceasing . . .
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Hi Martha! Oh my gosh, I have so many ties to Florida. My parents lived in Marco Island for over 30 years. We honeymooned there, and had many fun vacations. My brother has a condo there, and in Naples. Another brother is building in Sarasota. Friends have homes in Sarasota and Naples...my niece is in Orlando.

    Yes. Please pray for them all. May God keep them safe, and hold the devastation to a minimum.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Oh, wow, Ceil, you certainly do have so many loved ones in Florida and so many fond memories of being there. I will certainly keep praying for them as I have been for all the victims of this horrible storm. Yes, may the devastation NOT be as bad as imagined.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Thank you Martha, dear friend for sharing this timely message from the heart. May our Good Lord bless and keep you all!

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    1. May the Lord keep and bless you, too, Bren! Glad the message spoke strongly to you.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Thank you for answering God's nudge to write this, Martha. We certainly need to remember to lift up our eyes to God in these dark, uncertain times. So much devastation, it's scary. May God strengthen all those affected. Blessings and hugs!

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    1. Yes, Trudy, these are dark, uncertain times for sure. But we can have that peace which passes all understanding when we lift our eyes to God.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. And we pray. Yes. Love that advice from scripture as we look to our Father who is sovereign over His creation.

    One of my best friend's wife, Jacqueline, just got a stage four cancer diagnosis. Very bad. They say three to five months. They have three kids, the youngest just turned eleven.

    And we pray...

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    1. And we pray, Floyd . . .
      I will be in prayer for Jacqueline and her family.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha, Thank you for sharing this and calling us to prayer and to focus on God, rather than the storms--literal and metaphorical.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, let's focus on the Lord, not the storms!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I'm so behind in my reading of posts...Thank you for this wonderful post and prayer. The prayers of many truly carried us through this storm, and we are most grateful. God bless you my friend.

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    1. Getting behind after all you've been through is certainly understandable, Pamela. No worries! Yes, I and so many others are continuing to pray for all affected by the storms and the fires. May God comfort all and give them peace.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Hi, Martha! I'm new here. Nice to meet you! I'm your newest follower.

    That verse, lift up my eyes to the hills, has been coming up a lot for me lately.

    Blessings,

    Sandi at Dandelion Tea

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    1. It's great to meet you, Sandi, and I'm so glad you're following! As you can see, I'm not on my usual blogging schedule, but am hoping to get back to my regular Tuesday/Friday posts next week (starting with Friday). Looking forward to getting to know you!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Amen!
    We must focus on God not, circumstances. God is greater. His truth prevails and His love never ends. That's how we can have joy during trying times.
    Great truths here.

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    1. Exactly, TC! Our focus must be on God in all times and in all places. His truth will prevail in spite of the tragic and trying circumstances we face. And yes, we can have joy in it all.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. So true Martha.. and so sad to see Mexico hit with another horrible earthquake... but we cannot look to those things, but to our God who is in control of it all, and our hope is in HIM. Yes, we continue to pray! And pray and pray. Our Lord is on His throne, and He hears our pleas. So thankful for that! Hugs to you today

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    1. Yes, so, so thankful God hears our prayers, Marilyn. I find myself praying multiple times a day for the victims of the earthquakes in Mexico and all three hurricanes that have ravaged the islands, Florida and Texas. We must look up to God in trust, and not focus on the chaos all round us.
      Love and blessings!

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