Jul 28, 2021

Fix My Eyes: Hope in Times of Struggle

2020.

Just the mention of that year sends shivers up my spine. For you, it may remind you of mask-wearing because of a worldwide pandemic, daily television messages from governors or the president, social distancing, healthy at home initiatives, sickness, and even death. However, when I hear that year mentioned, it has nothing to do with the worldwide pandemic. 2020 is the year that my entire world was turned upside down. It was the year that my father-in-law, who was like a second father, was hospitalized and eventually died, all because of an accident that followed a routine surgery. It was the year that my daughter faced a very serious medical situation that left us all asking questions, seeking medical guidance, and prayers from across the country. It was a time of living in 2 different states at once. While my husband served our church in Florida, I held the fort down in Kentucky, with my mother-in-law, our two children who were forced into online college, and 4 very confused pets who wondered why they were living in a strange place. It was also the end of a ministry that we loved and my teaching job in Florida, to move back home to Kentucky, to care for my husband’s mother with no job to come to. It was the year that I had to add “project manager, patient advocate, grief counselor, moving specialist, and balancer of all the things” to my resume. And to top it all off, the company that I loved so much and had worked for 18 years, announced they were closing on December 1st and closed their doors on December 31st. However, it was also the year where I realized how important that it was to fix my eyes on Jesus, and gave me an understanding of why it was so important to have a closer walk with the Lord.

In the book of Hebrews, Paul calls us to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and to run the race that lies before us, with endurance, as we keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. This verse concludes with the reminder that He endured the cross, scorning its shame. He absolutely knows what it means to have trouble and suffering. He was mocked, persecuted, ignored, questioned, beaten, and crucified, for ungrateful humans, for goodness sake! If He could take this kind of heat, wouldn’t it make sense that He gets your pain and suffering? Wouldn’t it also make sense that we should fix our eyes on the one who has been there and done that? During this season of my life, a passage that reminded me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus was John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” WOW! This scripture gave me such hope. I can have peace because Christ has overcome the world. Plus, He told us that in this world, we would have trouble. We can expect that. We live in a fallen world and we are a fallen people, so it’s going to happen at some point or another.

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Not only should we fix our eyes on Jesus during the hard times, we should also strive to fix our eyes on Jesus daily. Have you ever shot a bow and arrow? If so, you know that keeping your eye on the target is key to getting the bullseye. If you are distracted by wind resistance, a mosquito buzzing in your ear, or anything else, you will miss the mark. The same is true for us. We must not get distracted by the things of this world. Work. School. The sin that so easily ensnares us. The enemy loves to use those things to keep us from losing focus of the truth and the “target”. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing, however, the enemy likes to whisper in our ear to look at what “we” did, and ignore the fact that God is the one who did it through us.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus causes the troubles and even the good things to fade out, as our gaze is set on Him and Him alone. It truly is the best way to live, but oh, how quickly we forget to do that, from time to time. Lucky for us, we have a Father who loves us and forgives us when we forget. He doesn’t give us a “pass”, because there are consequences to sin, but He offers forgiveness as far as the East is from the West. He’s a good Father, who wants what is best for His children.

Living with our eyes fixed on Jesus is not the easiest, at times. In the song, “Fix My Eyes”, by King and Country, they refer to it as “the road less traveled”, however, in my lifetime, following the road less traveled has made all the difference. I truly don’t know how people make it in this world without a personal relationship with Jesus. I pray that you will strive, as I do, to fix your eyes on Christ. He loves you and it’s worth it, even when things are hard.

So, about our 2020…

  • My father in law passed away, but the day he died, we were able to sing with him (from the window outside of his nursing facility) one of his favorite songs, “It Is Well with My Soul”, and we have it on video, so God allowed us one last time to sing together.
  • Our daughter received the help she needed, and she is feeling a lot better.
  • Our family was all reunited back in Kentucky for good in June, as we accepted the call to serve at a church just a few miles from my husband’s childhood home, where we now reside with my mother-in-law.
  • The Sunday before December 1st, I was interviewed by our church for the ministry assistant position and was hired two days before my company announced its closure. A few weeks later, I took a position with another faith-based company that works around my church schedule.

There is peace, hope, and healing that comes with a relationship with Jesus. During those hard times of 2020, God gave me verse after verse to keep my eyes focused on Him and not the storm around me. Isaiah 26:3 tells us that He will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are stayed (fixed) on Him, because they trust in Him. Perfect peace from a perfect God, given to imperfect people, in imperfect situations, and an imperfect world. What a gift! Let’s remember that even with the storms around us wage, there is One who is there for us, holding us in the palm of His strong and mighty hand. We just need to fix our eyes on Him.

By <a href="https://pastorskids.org/author/kim-day/" target="_self">Kim Day</a>

By Kim Day

Kim Day is from Elizabethtown, KY, and is the wife of Billy, who is the Minister of Music at Cecilia Baptist Church. They have partnered in ministry together since their college days and have been married for almost 27 years. They have 2 young adult children, Kevin, who is 23, and serves at The Grove Church in Elizabethtown as their Worship Pastor, and Elizabeth, 20, and is a junior Educational Ministries Major/Worship Arts Minor at Campbellsville University. Kim has been an educator in both public and private schools in Kentucky and Florida and has worked as an entrepreneur with Premier Designs Jewelry for 18 years until their closure in 2020. She is currently the office administrator/ministry assistant for Cecilia Baptist Church and is running a successful business through jBloom Designs Jewelry. Kim loves to share encouragement through word and song to women and loves to mentor younger Christians to help them as they grow in their walk with the Lord and younger women to help them not only grow in their walk with the Lord, but also to help show them that there is hope for their children beyond the "terrible twos". Kim enjoys singing, fashion, reading, cooking, writing, and painting. One day, she hopes to write books for women, especially those in ministry life, and children's books.