Finding Our Focus
This past Saturday I attended a local IF:Gathering, an amazing global women's conference, for the Cedar Valley area. I have attended this event the past couple of years and each year I learn a lot about both myself and Jesus. I highly recommend all of you college-aged girls go to the IF:Gathering next year. There's something so incredible about seeing what God is doing thorugh IF firsthand. I promise when you leave you will be changed! This year's theme and focus was on Romans 8, each of the speakers spoke about a couple of the verses from this chapter.
From everything that was spoken and prayed about, Romans 8:39 was the verse and session that struck me the most. I thought that because I had heard this verse so much that I knew the meaning. It seems pretty straight forward, God loves us and nothing can stop Him from loving us. We may not always feel like this is true, but this verse tells us so. However, it wasn’t until I watched Sadie Robertson Huff speak at IF that I really internalized this passage and understood the deep implications of it in my life.
Sadie talked about the conversation between Jesus and Peter after Jesus has been resurrected from the grave. (John 21:15-23) This was a redeeming conversation for Peter where Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times to counteract Peter's previous 3 denials of Jesus. After this amazing moment between them, while Jesus is still sitting across from Peter, Peter turns around to John who is standing behind them and asks Jesus, “What about John? What are you doing in his life?”
Looking at my own life, if I am being honest, I do this too. I focus on what Jesus is doing in other people’s lives, it may not be a conscientious choice but it happens. However, in these moments when we “turn” and are comparing or focusing on someone else's seemingly amazing lives, we really miss what He is going or just got done doing in our own lives! We miss that Jesus is sitting right in front of us and wants to have a personal conversation with us.
In my own life, I catch myself comparing everything about myself to others. This person was just offered a job by a school district or this person has amazingly clear skin and perfect clothes. Social media only makes this worse, we compare the raw unedited version of ourselves to the perfectly edited version of someone else.
So maybe it is not the height or depth that makes us feel like we don’t deserve or are not worthy of Jesus’ love. Maybe it’s actually just your head focused in the wrong direction that makes us think that Jesus doesn't love us and is not working on our lives.
We have to take our eyes off of each other and focus on Jesus.
I am going to leave you with the same question Sadie left,
Who is going to distract you from Jesus who is sitting right across from you?
UNI Senior, Currently Student Teaching
Aspiring Photographer, Skittle Fanatic, Got to meet and talk to Jennie Allen!
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