What you focus on is key!

We all know the importance of focus don’t we. To focus means to give most of your attention to someone or something. This means the things we focus on are significant and key to how our lives look and feel.

So let me share with you a recent story that has helped me to see first hand the importance of where I put my focus.

The week before Christmas as we were getting ready for all things festive and enjoying the snow, we had a burst pipe under our kitchen sink. This happened very late on a Wednesday evening and I was alerted to it by a noise that was keeping me awake. I decided to get up and explore where the sound was coming from. I had a quick look around in the dark but could see no source for the noise so I headed downstairs and as I stepped from the bottom stair I stepped into ice cold water! I was disorientated because I was sleepy and it was dark and I was standing ankle deep in water in my hallway! As I went into the kitchen the source of the noise was glaringly evident as the water was gushing from the pipe under the sink at force.

My scream alerted the lovely Mr B who ran downstairs as he thought we had an intruder, to find me looking shocked and disorientated at the water rushing out of the pipe. His cool head helped him find the stopcock quickly and turn off the water at the mains. We stood for a few minutes unsure what to do next. Then we started carrying things upstairs to keep them dry and find the emergency number for our letting agent. She answered her phone, which was amazing at that time of night, but couldn’t do anything at that point because of the hour and told us she would organise for someone to be with us in the morning to help get the water out and fix the problem under the sink.

It was extremely hard to get any sleep for the rest of the night as I knew all my furniture was still sitting in the water and getting damaged. Poor Mr B (who is a lawyer) was in court the next morning on a trial and had to get some sleep so I was left awake staring at the ceiling and praying that things would be okay and that I would experience God’s peace. I did eventually fall asleep!

The next morning I was awake very early and was dreading going downstairs to see what was happening in the river running through what was our ground floor. I was shocked to see that about 2/3 of the water had gone and my first thought was but where?

A guy came out within a few hours and sucked up all the water with a machine which was a huge relief so I could start cleaning up (although to be fair the floor was pretty clean after the wash overnight) and then a plumber arrived later to fix a new valve under the sink. Then the letting agent came out to talk through next steps which involved a firm coming to dry out the house as the water had gone below the ground floor under the house. Long story short is that the whole ground floor will need to be taken up and they would need to dry out the floor and then a new ground floor being laid with new skirting boards. This would have to be started in the New Year as no one would start a job like this the week before Christmas.

Yikes! I’m not going to lie that was a lot to process before Christmas and I did cry quite a bit about the thought of us all having to move out for 2/3 months (which is what they told us on inspection ) whilst the work was done, the mess, the upheaval of storing furniture etc. It seemed especially upsetting as the house we live in is a new build and we are the first people to live in it so it seemed mad to have this sort of problem. It all just seemed so unfair!!!!!

I don’t know about you and where you are at in your life circumstances at the moment but we can all have these situations where our circumstances are out of our control and life feels like it is happening to us without our say so, but this is just part and parcel of anybody’s life. As Christians we don’t get a free pass to experience none of life’s everyday upheavals and suffering. But we do get the promise that God will never leave us or forsake us in them.

James 1:2-3 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Anyway back to what I feel I have learnt over the last few weeks as I reflected on the flood…

This flood happened on the lead up to the Christmas season and work to put it right was slowed down because of the holidays, but I’m so grateful that God never takes a holiday or a day off from being our Heavenly Father. We are always in His thoughts and He is available 24/7 to His kids and is keenly interested in our needs and highly aware of all we are going through at any given moment.

Lam 3:22-23 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I have recognised that even when things don’t go to plan we get a choice on how we choose to look at our circumstances and where we put our focus. We can look and see where God doesn’t seem to be moving or instead, and the better way to go in my opinion, look and see where He is moving. We can either have a poverty mindset when it comes to God or an abundant mindset.

In this flood situation we experienced I looked again and started to count my blessings and thank God for all the ways He saved us from what could have been so much worse. We were home when it happened and caught it whilst it was still ankle deep, nobody was hurt, The Lovely Mr B’s vinyl collection was saved, it didn’t come through the ceiling but was just on one level and it was clean water which makes a huge difference in the clean up of it. You can start to see how it shines a whole new light on the circumstances of our lives when we view things like this and focus on the goodness of God.

When we recognise and look for where God is moving we get to live in His goodness, that becomes evident when we look with eyes of gratitude at what He’s doing and where He is moving. This also helps us to talk about our circumstances in a different way as we talk about His goodness. We know don’t we that the words we use create the worlds we live in and when we talk positively it changes everything because our words are incredibly powerful and effective.

I also remembered that God had given me a picture back in August during worship, about a desert floor and said “the water table is rising” (which I blogged about if you want to read that). I almost laughed as I read it back and how I had talked about how we would be standing ankle deep in the river of His presence as it started to rise. I feel that God often uses the things we see and experience in the natural as a foretaste of what is going to happen in the spirit. This also massively changed the way I chose to look at the flood and even though I don’t for a minute suggest God caused it I do believe He has spoken through it and I feel such a sense of expectation of what is coming for us in the spirit.

As you look at the challenges and circumstances of things you are currently going through, I challenge you to look again with a different focus and see what God is doing, how He is moving or even like me what He has saved you from.

Isa 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.


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