I go to the eye doctor once a year for an eye exam. During the visit the doctor would have me sit in a chair slightly leaning forward with my chin resting on a chin bar. I was told to focus on the eyechart hanging on the wall some distance away. I would then attempt to read the letters from left to right, from top row down, one eye at a time. This test allows the ophthalmologist to determine how each eye’s vision level compares to the standard 20/20 vision based on my responses to the test. Should my
eyesight be less than perfect, the doctor would then have me repeat the vision test but this time through a mechanical contraption called a phoropter. Basically this optical equipment utilizes a series of lens pairs positioned in front of my eyes. I would once again read the eye chart; left to right, top to bottom; one eye at a time. Each lens pair combination would prompt the doc to say, “Clearer or more blurry?”  This redundant process would continue until at last I would find the correct lens pair combination that would allow me to see clearly ahead. My eyes could now focus without the blurred vision.
Sometimes as Christians we get to a point in our lives where we become distracted by the situations of life and our vision becomes blurred. We tend to focus on the problems instead of the problem-solver. Our view becomes horizontal and we focus on ourselves which leads to self-reliance. The weight of the world then falls on our shoulders to solve every crisis situation presented to us. This self-reliance leads to a sense of stress and frustration as we struggle to live independently from God which is opposite of what He had intended. Stress becomes the by-product of a horizontal view opening up the door for the
Enemy to bring confusion and despair. But God wants you to place your trust and your focus on Him. He wants to lift up your heads and re-focus your attention to a vertical view. Our Father is waiting for you to relinquish your self-will as we pray, “Help me Lord!”
When we focus on Jesus to help us in our times of trial, we exercise the power of faith to allow our loving Father to work in our lives for His glory. His main concern for us as we move from a horizontal focus to a vertical focus is to build our faith which is the economy of heaven. As we practice our faith we no longer see life as it is but we see more clearly through the lens of hope that is in Jesus Christ. Whenever I find myself losing focus to a horizontal point of view, the early warning sign is stress. It indicates to me my vision is out of focus and I need to re-establish my vertical lens. How do I do that? Psalm 119:105 (NLT) points the way. “Your Word Lord is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” When we focus on Jesus we see more clearly the path that God has laid out in front of us, even when
the dark of night is all around. The Book of John, Chapter 1, Verses 1-5 (NLT) brings powerful clarity to me when I need to re-focus my life. The Apostle John writes, “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and He was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that He didn’t make. Life itself was in Him, and this life gives light to everyone. This light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” Are you feeling stressed today? I
encourage you to re-focus your gaze on the One was, who is, and will always be.

David Carey

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