Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Do You Spell Relief?

Remember those old Rolaids commercials where the answer was, "R-O-L-A-I-D-S"? Well, in line with yesterday's post, I got to think about how a person can get relief from discouragement. Clearly, it's important to focus on the Lord in order to have perfect peace. Bot God gives us many different ways to focus on Him.
I had a terrible time yesterday focusing on Him. I would remind myself and feel perfect peace for a minute or so before my worries swept over me again. I had a raging headache that even brought me to vomiting, and I strongly considered telling my husband I couldn't go to church last night. I knew I needed to be there--I play the piano for the song service, and I head up the children's program. Sure, someone could fill in for me, but it wouldn't be convenient to them at the last minute. I had a martyr complex and I went because I had to. Plus, I didn't think being alone with my thoughts was a particularly good idea either.
What I didn't realize was, I needed to be there for me, not my ministries. I always enjoy the song services, but the words and music really spoke to my heart last night. I played "When We See Christ" for the offertory and, no matter how many mistakes I made, the message of the song was a great comfort to me.
And then came Kids Klub. Not my favorite ministry by any means. I was supposed to tell the story--I usually do a combination of telling and acting out of Bible stories--but I had nothing to tell last night. So I asked the kids for their preferences. they ended up voting for a story on Ehud, the second Judge in the Book of Judges. Ironically, I had just read the story in my devotions that morning. As I told the story, the message again spoke to me as well as to the kids.
During the prayer request time (It was prayer meeting, after all) I found myself praying for the requests that had been mentioned. Honestly, it was almost a relief to be praying for something other than my problem. Once again I was--in a way--ministering to others. And that ministered to me.
I felt better by the end of the service, but I was still ready to head for home and climb in bed. But one of the ladies stopped me and asked to talk. Her questions again made me focus on helping someone else.
By the time I left the church last night, I was truly focusing on Christ instead of on myself. He had allowed me to minister to some of His children. That action focused my attention on Him more than any struggling internal thoughts of my own could manage.
sometimes we focus on Christ by reading and meditating on His Word. Sometimes we focus through prayer. But sometimes we focus through service. Last night He used service to draw me close to Him. And I'm better for it today.
So how do you focus on Him?


  1. We all have days when we don't want to go to church. We are human after all. But, in my experience, those are the times we need to go the most! God knows we get discouraged. Not one tiny detail has taken him by surprise; and while we must needs go through trials, we are not alone. For me, focusing on someone else helps, but I need to mentally work through my issues. Most of the time, God uses the preaching to get my attention. It sounds weird, but, I guess that just reassures me that I am nothing but clay that needs to be molded, and when there is clay, there is a potter. My focus gets re-shifted and I can rest in Him. You know, tribulations in life are inevitable. I just have to remember their purpose: to shape me into a vessel unto honor and to bring glory to God Almighty. (At least, I hope so!)
    Jill, I praise the Lord for helping you through service for Him. It is a true blessing to see Him working so mightily in your life.

  2. Once again, ditto to what you wrote. Prayer, Bible reading all are things that can get you through, but sometimes, talking to someone who is going through the same and conseling with them although your own words are touching your own life and at the end you are the one counsel :). Certainly, concentrating in others help me a lot to put my eyes away from problems. Since right now we don't have people to councel, it is taking me longer to get over myself :)


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