I finished my writing earlier than normal this morning, and still had 45 minutes before I had to wake up my household for the day. So, rather than procrastinate again - which I have gotten down to a fine art ;) - I pounced out of my chair and dove onto the exercise bike and watched as night's shadows slowly gave way to morning's light.
Oh, ok, I pushed myself off my chair, held my breath and climbed onto the bike, then punched into the [electronic] bike what was probably the easiest preset ride it has, and watched and 'ouched' as the shadows gave way to a new day... and at one stage I found myself thinking, "Donna, you're missing the light display going on outside the window!" because I was focused on one particular spot in my garden - which my front window and said bike overlook.
I thought, "Ooh, wake up, Don," and shook myself out of the staring competition I was having with a flower a couple of metres below my window, and tried to take everything in that the scene before me held. However, on doing so, I realised I struggled more with the aching in my legs. (I won't mention the aching in the backside - but, sheesh!!! I mean, come on! Can't someone invent a more comfortable seat for a bike!!! Ouch! ;) )
It only took me a moment to register that when I focused on one thing, I could zone out of most of the pain and the ride became far more bearable. When I tried to take in everything in the life before me, the pain became too much for me to cope with and I not only wanted to give up riding but the beautiful view and all it held, as well. So I refocused (when necessary) on one particular spot to see me through.
It was then that I realised that's how it is with God. That is one reason why He invites us to worship, praise and prayer in the midst of our pain: When we focus on Him, the pain becomes bearable... Worship, prayer and praise isn't about God's vanity - as I once thought. At times, it's about Him being a loving parent and reassuring us that we'll get through "it" ~ but we need to focus on Him in order to know that's true. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God, and nowhere can you hear the word of God more clearly than in His arms, with your ear close to His heart.
Yes, worship, prayer and praise are also acts of love - reflections of the love we have for God and others in our heart - but God makes sure they also benefit us, as well.
Can I encourage you today to take your eyes off "everything" and focus on Him. If you want a quick look at Him, a quick word from Him, turn to Jesus. For Jesus is God's heart in the flesh... Pick up your Bible today, focus on that one thing for a moment, or sing a song of praise, or fall on your knees in tears and prayer if you'd rather, or go help someone in need... And watch life become bearable again.