I get news alerts on my phone. A quick text message alerts me to breaking news, and throughout the day, I can click to read more or simply swipe to ignore it and go on with my life.
The problem is, though, that since I use my phone as an alarm clock, I often wake up to a screen full of notifications about shootings and murders and other devastating news. Before my feet have barely hit the floor and my poor eyes are even ready to focus, my heart is heavy with care for the world.
The bad news is there waiting on me. Some days, I think you might agree, it seems to hang around all day, pulling me down and more importantly, pulling my focus down, down, down.
Until I’m tired.
Until I’m afraid.
Until I’m defeated.
Until I’m heart-broken.
This morning, I offer the words of Psalm 143:8 as a prayer for my day: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
How’s that for a perspective shift? No longer are we focusing downward. Instead, with the psalmist, we lift our eyes to the hills, confident in where our help comes from. We focus, not on the stormy seas around us, but on the One who calms the storm. We focus on the One who offers us unfailing love, in whom we can entrust our lives.
Psalm 16:8 says, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.”
Let’s face this day with that assurance and claim the gift God so freely offers (and that Paul tells us about in Philippians 4:6-7): “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Whatever might be hurting your heart today, whether it’s news on a global scale or a private, personal pain, know that God cares. He loves you. He will carry, not just your burden, but you. We need only to ask with thankful hearts. And He will give us peace.