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What Happens When You Change Your Focus?

Posted Apr 21 2013 10:00am

“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

This verse often strikes us as being a contradiction. If the man believes, why is he asking Jesus to help him with his unbelief? But in recent weeks I have understood exactly how he felt. I have been fighting with “what if” thoughts and scenarios over and over.

First we were faced with my GI doctor leaving the practice and moving quite a distance away. What if I can’t find another doctor to listen? It took four years to find this one! What if no one will take me, as I’m not the usual GI patient? Too high risk, too difficult to diagnose etc.. . . . and so it started.

Then an acquaintance who also went through chemo when I did, now after 5 years and no evidence of return, has been diagnosed with stage four bone cancer. How could this happen, how could they not detect it?

My heart is breaking for her and her family, and then my mind goes again to “what if?”

What if they are not detecting it in me, perhaps it is there also? I am sick all the time; it would be easy to miss.

Then I feel guilty just for thinking of myself at all. And on on it goes, turning into a non-stop cycle of negative thoughts, casting fear and unbelief in everything I know.

But I had a dear friend encourage me when I expressed these thoughts to her. She said, “Diane, try change your focus. Often when we are ill, we submit to fear and unbelief that God will not protect us, be with us, or carry us. We tend to focus on the word fear, we look up scripture pertaining to it–which is not a bad thing, but in this instance, it didn’t bring comfort.”

She suggested looking up “wait” as in waiting on the Lord, wait on His timing, Wait on Him to reveal to us what we must deal with in that day alone, how to do it and how to accept it! How to let him help us in our unbelief.

Here are a few that I found:

  • Psalm 130:5: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, in his word I put my hope.”
  • Isaiah 40:31 ”But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
  • Psalms 5:3” In the morning O Lord, You hear my voice; In the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.”

Though the problems did not go away, my thought life no longer focused on the negative, but on the promises of God and how if I wait and rely on Him–even when it is a struggle to do so–He will grant me something wonderful–His peace. He comes to me as Yahweh Shalom, the only one who can bring wholeness, fulfillment , and peace in a world filled with “what if’s” and unbelief.

Prayer: Father, today as we go through our day let us not allow the thoughts of “what if’s” overtake us. Help us, Lord. We do believe in You and in Your promises in Your Word, but since we are human and are imperfect we fail at times in our belief. I pray that when that happens each of us will turn to You. Guide us, lead us with your Holy Spirit, and help us in that unbelief. Grant us Your presence O Holy Yahweh Shalom, The God of Peace. Amen.

About the author Diane Kalata lives in Florida. She has three grown children, and a wonderful husband who offers much support. She enjoys leading a women’s bible study group as well as a chronic pain and illness support group. She is a cancer survivor and has many digestive illness issues but relies on God for strength and peace while she continues to serve and love Him.

Have you ever believed and then asked for help it your unbelief? How did you find peace despite the circumstances?

What priority are you giving your thoughts today? This is one of the touching and poignant illustrated videos by Dong Haeng. When we change our focus we change our priorities. It is such a large message in a short video. -Lisa

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