Look to the Horizon
A devotional by Christa MacDonald
“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. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
A company I worked for years ago went through a change in ownership at the height of the Great Recession. The new owners made numerous changes – the office's location, the database we used, they even swapped Macs for PCs. My easy part-time job became a lot more complicated. What I didn’t know at the time was that God’s Providence was at work. My husband’s industry was hit hard by the downturn and just after he was furloughed, I was offered full time and additional responsibilities. In short order, I went from team member to leader, to supervisor, to manager.
Generally, when the job I'm doing gets tough, I keep my head down and work harder. That job was demanding and all-consuming at times. The COO coached me to avoid focusing only on what was right in front of me – today's task and crisis – and instead to shift my focus upward, and to look ahead. What's coming next? What's on the horizon? His advice was to avoid preoccupation with what’s going on this minute so you don’t miss what opportunities and challenges lay head. If all you ever deal with is the day-to-day stuff, you're never going to see real progress.
That advice applies to life. Too often, when in the middle of a trial, we can be overwhelmed, lost at sea, so focused on treading water that we lose sight of the horizon. As tough as it is for us, as Christians, we need to resist the temptation to let the sufferings of today keep us focused on this present moment, on ourselves and on our pain.
As the verse says above, we need to fix our focus on the eternal. Amid historic pandemic, daily protests, cultural clashes, and a contentious election, refocusing isn't the most straightforward task. It's noisy around us. The way that news and other media saturate our environment amplifies the noise. We live in an individualistic, humanistic society that teaches us to think of our own small world first, as if our own troubles are paramount. Add to that the ‘breaking news’ constant stream of crisis into whatever peace we manage to create at home, making it feel impossible to concentrate on anything else.
As dire as our situation may seem, it's not eternal. We serve a God of Providence, and we can put our faith and trust in Him to be with us in our suffering. With our lives in God's hands, we can get back to work. God has placed us on this earth to serve Him, share the Gospel, and love our neighbors.
"He has told you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8 (ESV).
Every day, we need to look to the horizon ahead, choose to look upward and focus on the eternal. God is with us. Who can stand against us?
Christa MacDonald is a 2017 ACFW Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction.
A native New Englander, she was inspired by her travels through the north woods of Maine to write The Broken Trail, which would become the first in the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.
Christa's writing focuses on the real-life challenges of the modern world, love’s sometimes crooked path, and the redemptive power of Grace.
When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty.
She and her husband live with their three kids, two cats, and one dog along the coast of New England. Connect with Christa at www.christamacdonald.com.