I’ve Got My Eye on You

It’s nice to be driving to my next destination with a few minutes to spare.  Lacking the typical thoughts of “hurry up, you’re running late!” makes room for relaxing thoughts and the ability to be mindful of where I am, and what’s going on around me.

I had this rare experience yesterday. As I came upon a small, yet busy, intersection a man in a yellow construction vest was directing traffic because of a lane closure due to construction.  I was the first vehicle in my lane, so while I really needed to keep my eye on the traffic director in order to know when it was my turn to go, I couldn’t manage to keep my focus on him. Seriously, it was boring  to watch him wave his arms around this way and that way like a mechanical gorilla, especially when I was intrigued by the massive construction equipment that was  productively moving dirt right next to me. No matter how many times I attempted to focus on the traffic director, again and again I got distracted by other things in my peripheral.

I didn’t want to miss my turn and get honked at, so I eventually stifled my curiosity and began to stare at the annoying yellow-vested guy. All of a sudden, the thought hit me: If he made one mistake, accidents could come from any of the 4 directions.  He had a very important role! There was no way that this intersection of vehicles could manage to figure out when to stop or go. In fact, we couldn’t see down the lane closure to the area that the road became two lanes again, but the traffic director was in a position to see the whole picture.

Additionally, it took the responsibility of each individual driver paying attention to the traffic director’s cues in order for every other vehicle to stay safe.  If I missed one cue, I could either A) be stuck sitting in the same spot wasting time when it’s my turn to go, or B) start driving when I shouldn’t and run into someone or cause another accident.

It may only be occasionally that I run into a situation involving someone directing traffic, and yet, this parallels so well with my every day life.  There are many times that I come upon a crossroads or problem, and instead of keeping my focus on The One that guides me and protects me, I’m busy looking all around and distracted by everything else.  Some of those distractions are sin in my life that keep me from focusing on Jesus. Others are just mindless ‘big moving objects.’  There are even times that I just get stuck in the everyday mundane things of life and I don’t move on because I’m not keeping my eye on Him when He’s motioning for me to move forward.  Sadly, I admit that there are times that I have made huge ‘accidents’ and hurt myself (and even others) because I wasn’t watching Him as He attempted stop me, but I ignored His direction.

I think of Peter who walked on water toward Jesus, but as soon as he started looking around at the strong wind and the furious waves, he became terrified and began to sink (Matthew 14:22-33).  He took his focus off of Jesus!

Hebrews 12:1-2 says it so practically: “…..let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…”

You know, I may find it annoying sometimes when I’m stuck staring at a traffic director.   I might even prefer, at times, to focus on distractions in my life instead of keeping my eye on Jesus — I am a messed up person with human tendencies and a myriad of imperfections. Nonetheless, I want to keep my eyes on Jesus, my champion. I want to trust in His protection because I know that He can see the whole picture, and I can just see a portion of the situation. I want to strip off the weights of distraction, sin, and anything that trips me up. I want to avoid accidents as well as be paying attention to when I should ‘go’ so that I’m not stuck in one place staring off into things that don’t really matter. Yes…I want to run with endurance the race that God has set before me.

Reminder taken.

Thanks, Jesus, for the few spare minutes of thoughtfulness…and that pesky man in the yellow vest. By the way, I’ve got my eye on You 😉

Eye on You


More Than I Can Handle??

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve said the phrase, “I can’t take it anymore!”  or ” This is more than I can handle!”

I can't handle this!!

Ok, I admit it, some of those times may have been a bit unwarranted. Maybe even a little — dare I say — over dramatic.  But there are other situations where the phrase can be used in a completely legitimate way.

Like when a child comes home in a frantic to go to the bathroom after ‘holding it’ all day and she misses the toilet by an inch, flooding the entire bathroom, urine rivers flowing into the hallway and pee-waves splashing up the walls.  Then the dog comes to investigate while you’re trying to figure out a clean up plan, and the phone rings, then the neighbor rings the doorbell, and all along, your daughter is crying and you can’t even get your mind to stop racing to figure out what to do to clean up the mess, let alone console her!

Or like when there’s betrayal by someone that you completely trusted, and now your world is spinning in confusion and chaos as you try to figure out what is real, how to be safe again and how to move forward.

Or even when you’re on a 30-day no-junk-food-challenge and you’ve been doing so well, but you’re at a friend’s house and one of them made your FAVORITE dessert.  And you’re super hungry. You’ll just have a bite. That’s all. Everyone else is.  Besides, your friend made it especially with you in mind, not knowing about your personal challenge – you don’t want to offend her! Ohhhh…that chocolately, gooey deliciousness…..   You know you want it!!

Overwhelmed. Scared. Frustrated. Tempted. MORE THAN I CAN HANDLE???!!!


So….does that mean that God would give us more than we can handle?

I hear that cliche all the time, that “God will never give you more than you can handle.”  But I don’t agree with it. To some it may be semantics, but to me, something important is missing from that cliche. Here’s how I think it should be said:

God will never give us more than we can handle WITH HIM.

Sometimes I forget the last part – the most important part – and then I fall apart, because I wasn’t intended to handle life, and all that’s ‘given to me’, all by myself.

A great verse to memorize when going through the “more than I can handle” trials is Philippians 4:13. It reads, “I can do ALL things through Christ (Jesus) who gives me strength.”  Pretty awesome and powerful that WITH Jesus, He will supply the strength for us to get through and have victory through those trials that are more than we can humanly handle on our own!

Another powerful verse to keep in our mind bank is 1 Corinthians 10:13.  “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity.  God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation HE WILL ALSO PROVIDE a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”

There are SO many more verses that share this same concept — that when life is more than I can handle, God is there to rescue, to provide an escape, to comfort, to give peace, to calm fears, to give strength….to HELP me handle the situations that are humanly impossible to handle on my own.

Are you facing something right now that seems like it is more than you can handle? Take it to Jesus.  He’s not a genie in a bottle to run to when you have problems, but He is a loving Savior that is longing to have a personal relationship with you for the rest of your life. And He wants to handle for you, what you cannot alone.  I mean, He’s been doing that for quite some time…He did give His life for us!