As we find ourselves in yet another lockdown, with figures seeming to be spiralling out of control, I have found it hard to not become obsessed by watching or reading the latest news, can anyone relate?
I am someone who enjoys social media and uses it as a place to post encouragements, equip and to bring light onto the platforms I frequent, but even there it has at times become overwhelming with negativity and bad news stories. My heart hurts for all those affected by this pandemic and to be honest this time around I know people who have had or are ill with Covid19. My eldest son lives in London and this is an area with extremely high and shocking data right now which can feel scary and out of control. So, it has just felt different for me this time and I am someone who has positivity as a top strength, so if I am feeling like this I know there are many feeling worse and struggling right now.
Now last time around in lockdown God spoke to me about being careful about what I was looking at, but who like me often needs to learn the lesson more than once to really get it? As I was praying, particularly about this deluge of news and what I was consuming in terms of news/social media/worldly content, I saw a horse with blinkers on. An interesting and specific picture so I took to Google to find out more about what blinkers are and what they are for.
Blinkers are leather patches sewn onto a horses bridle to stop it looking to the side, backwards and to avoid it getting startled. Many racehorse trainers believe that blinkers keep horses focused on what is in front, encouraging them to pay attention to the race rather than to distractions such as crowds. Additionally, driving horses commonly wear blinkers to keep them from being distracted or spooked, especially on crowded city streets.
As soon as I read this, the picture with the blinkers started to make more sense and I felt God direct me to this scripture in Hebrews about keeping my eyes fixed on Him and not to let the things of the world distract me from Him.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I felt it was a reminder and an encouragement not just to met but to us all, to not be looking to the right and left, taking in all the media coverage right now and the heaviness that it comes with and to avoid being startled by the amount of swirl. But, instead to keep our eyes fixed on the one who brings peace to the storm, a refuge, our comforter and our hope. These spiritual blinkers were not to keep us from knowing and being aware of what was happening in the world and to cut us off from reality but were for our good, for our protection so that we don’t become overwhelmed and unable to move forward.
God has much for us to do in this season and we have a race to run, that has been marked out specifically and uniquely for us. I know that when I let the cares of the world overwhelm me I can’t do what I need to do in the kingdom and I need to keep my eyes fixed on the only one who can make sense of what is happening. We all have different callings and spheres of influence and the thing is we have a moment in history to really make a difference where we are. We are ALL called to be a light in the darkness, a city on a hill and we are in a world that needs to see this light. We are called to shine bright and to do this we must not allow ourselves to become dulled by the heaviness and darkness around us. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned, moved and compassionate, but we don’t need to be overwhelmed by it.
Matt 5:14-16 (MSG)
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
How are you called to shine the light where you are?
How are you continuing to run in your lane?
How are you doing with processing any disappointment in this season?