“If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)
“I’ve never seen it quite this bad.”
The pain shooting through my side and arm confirmed her words.
As the massage therapist kept the pressure on my shoulder, I realized something had to change. I had been dealing with this issue for the past few months and it didn’t seem to be getting any better. We talked about some strategies and some changes I needed to make before I left her office.
As much as I didn’t want to admit it, the reality was my pain was mostly self-inflicted. Too many hours at the computer. Poor sleeping posture. Lack of exercise. I could go on…I really wanted to be done with this, so I was determined to make the changes that needed to be made.
One morning a few weeks later, I felt like God gave me a vivid picture of what was happening in my life, that was contributing to my physical pain, but also causing me spiritual fatigue. You see, I had been so busy at work, at home, in the yard, that I was spending most of my awake time looking down.
But even more than that, I was letting the pressure get to me and my spiritual condition was suffering as a result. It wasn’t just my physical eyes that were looking down, my spiritual eyes had followed suit. I had forgotten to look up…to look for God…and to be thankful for his goodness in my life!
This message hit me so strong, I knew it was something I had to listen to. I had to let go of the things that were weighing me down. Suddenly I heard Julie Andrews voice telling me to “lift up mine eyes to the hills…from whence comes my help!”
I wonder if you can relate to this, today? Has pressure and busyness and the burden of ministry been causing you to “keep your head down” and your “nose to the grindstone”?
I can tell you from experience; that will give you a pain in the neck!
Here are some tips to help you look UP…even when circumstances are pulling you down:
- When your thoughts become mired in day-to-day stresses or problems, reading and meditating on scripture will help. Look up the words, thoughts, or mind and allow God to speak to your mind.
- Maybe you have become a little negative in your outlook. It’s easy to have happen. Determine to adapt a positive attitude; to become one of those crazy optimists! It will work wonders for your spiritual posture.
- Make time each day to get away from the computer, your phone or iPad. Stretch your neck, back, and arms as you look up at the sky. Give God anything that is on your mind at the time and release the weight of it.
- Take a pack of index cards and each day for the next month, write one one good thing that happened each day. Save these in a basket or container and review them throughout the month.
- Make a playlist of UP-lifting songs. When you find yourself looking down, hit play and let God’s spirit encourage yours.
- Get a massage! And don’t let your mind focus on work, or home, or your to-do list. Just relax and let everything go…
Burdens, work, life, pressure, can force our focus down. Our eyes, our posture, our countenance, our words begin to move in a downward trajectory. But God calls us to look up–to be lifted up–to raise up! I hope this message encouraged you to Lift UP your heads and rejoice at the goodness of your God. Do not be weighed down by the expectations and cares of this present life. Remember the God who loves you will never turn his back on you. He will raise you up above circumstances. And He may use a massage to do it.