Losing Focus

Day by Day Devotions

Why is it that when we get busy with life, distracted by worldly problems and put off spending time with God, that we wonder why we feel so depressed?

There is a direct link between our spiritual walk and our emotional well being- it’s a fact. We were created to have direct communion with God and when we choose to separate ourselves from this communion our spirits feel the strain. We already have to endure a type of separation due to the fall of humanity… thankfully Christ sacrificed to correct that huge mistake. But when we “put off” spending that crucial time with the Father- our spiritual, emotional, mental and even physical self suffers for it.

This is not to say that when we are close to God everything is hunky-dory and life is nothing but roses and chocolate chip cookies, but when we put God on the back burner there is always a strain and groaning of our souls- it is yearning to get back to the God that made us. This is usually when we experience a loss of joy, raised level of impatience at everyday things, bitterness, and overall pessimism. All of a sudden we lose track of our purpose and thus lose the desire to do our everyday tasks with even a decent attitude.

When we lose focus of God, when we take our eyes off of Christ, we begin to sink and lose heart. Even Peter, “the rock” on which Christ chose to build His church, was not exempt from this common loss of focus.

Matthew 14:20-31 tells the well-known story…

“Immediately He (Jesus) made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Peter knew who Christ was, it was not that he doubted His power- he simply took his eyes off of Jesus. He lost focus of His goal and instead chose to look at all the problems around him; he then began to doubt himself and in turn, sank. For most Christians, it isn’t necessarily that we doubt or forget who Christ is, we simply get distracted by the waves around us and lose sight of our goals.

Hebrews 12:1-3 says

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

May we never forget that our souls will begin to cry out to God and falter at the slightest wave when we forsake our time spent at His feet.

(Disclaimer: This is not to say that all depression is a byproduct of spiritual neglect. There are many cases where circumstances pull us down and even physical ailments come into play… there are always exceptions.)

Cassie Weller