Where are you looking? What are you gazing at? Are you gazing at your suffering? I know I did. For a long time, I was not only looking at my suffering and my pain, but I was obsessed with it. It consumed my every moment and my every thought. I held onto it because, for a while, it was the only thing that made my marriage still feel real. I was emotionally suffering and I simply could not focus on anything else!
Walking through acute hardships, emotional turmoil and suffering undoubtedly means a change in your perspective. Suddenly, we find ourselves hunched over. In the fetal position we are unable to look at the world around us. Maybe we are no longer able to see the pain of others. Or perhaps, we become completely convinced that this is our life now – we will never again be okay. And if we’re not careful, this new lens in which we see the world can become our new normal. We can simply sit in our new perspective – for far too long.
Dear one, in the midst of our pain, it is imperative that we begin to gain an eternal perspective. Without it, we are destined to a life of hopelessness, navel-gazing and purposelessness.
What is an eternal perspective?
An eternal perspective simply means to focus our attention on the bigger picture, not the temperate.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Having an eternal perspective means that we begin to shift our focus off of our hardship and onto our Father who is graciously sustaining us in this season; He is faithful to make all of this right in the end!
Here are some practicals for you: This could mean doing a Bible study on the New Testament passages about suffering. It could mean signing up for therapy and setting goals around actively moving forward in your healing. It could mean talking to other women who love the Lord, have also experienced suffering and have lived to tell the tale!
This isn’t a Pollyanna way of looking at your hardship! The truth is, we have a God who doesn’t push us along in our suffering. He is not impatient with us as we continue to focus on our hurt day in and day out (because so many of us have been there, right?). Our God graciously sits with us in our pain. Why? Because he is so acquainted with suffering! The trick here is recognizing His invitation to change our focus to an eternal perspective. Our Savor is slowly inviting us to hope that this too shall pass.
Dear one, you are going to get through this. Keep your eyes up!
Ellie Hope Collins