Dealing With the Distractions When Life Gets in the Way

Heather O’Malley | Women’s Ministry Volunteer | Real Life Ministries Texas - Tomball, TX

Of all the adventures my son has taken us on over the years, “The Window Incident” will be one of our staple family testimonies. It’s Monday morning, and I’m working through my to-do list to prepare our home for the week. I step away from my son to locate my wandering one year old and return to find a glaring crack in our living room window, courtesy of a rogue toddler and a Paw Patrol phone. Immediately, I experience frustration, and panic. When will we be able to repair this? How much will this cost? The intrusive and distracting thoughts pull my focus, I feel a drowning sensation, and suddenly, I’m Peter on the sea, distracted by the storm. I was distracted from God’s faithfulness until He revealed to me that he was using this broken window to reveal to us information that would later save us thousands of dollars. As I am praising God for having a greater plan, I laugh at myself thinking, “you sat in so much anxiety all day because you forgot your faithful Father”. I was so distracted by life’s present state that I forgot God’s ultimate and good sovereignty.

Distractions can come in the form of inconveniences and unfortunate circumstances. There are minor and frequent distractions, the work conflict, the temperamental children, the social media scroll. Then there are major, infrequent distractions; the medical report, the job loss, the unexpected circumstances that leave us scrambling. Our circumstances have the power to distract us from God’s sovereignty and faithfulness by pulling our focus onto the uncertainty of the present. When these distractions grab hold of us, relentlessly tugging us every direction away from Christ, how do we deal with them in a healthy and biblical way? How do we face distractions in a way that we remain following after, being changed by, and on mission for Christ?

God gives us an image of this in Joshua 4. After God creates a way through the Jordan River for His people, He tells Joshua to set up stones that would be a future symbol of what the Lord has done. We look upon stones of remembrance that God gives us so that when the distracting circumstances of life come, we don’t avert our gaze or divert our path, but remember to follow Christ’s lead. The people and Joshua could have been so distracted by the torrent of the river that they abandoned all hope and turned the other way. But rather than following the distraction, they watched as the Lord would unfold His plan that He had already set in motion before they even made it to the river’s edge. Because just as He went before, alongside, and ahead of them, He goes with us.

When we recall our personal stones of remembrance and refocus on the Lord in the midst of distractions, we become stronger disciples. Not only do we remain following after Christ by remembering His faithfulness during distracting circumstances, but we make room for the Holy Spirit to use those circumstances to mold and refine us more into Christ’s image. Our faith during one trial now looks different, maybe even stronger, through remembrance. Whereas before our faith was easily distracted and swayed. We can also remain on mission for Christ as we disciple and speak into the lives of those trusted ones around us. We can encourage our brothers and sisters to build their own memorials on stones of remembrance by navigating distracting circumstances alongside one another.

That crack in the window made way for the Lord to set up a stone of remembrance. He saved us from a future burden much greater than the present inconvenience, and He reminded me to remember Him when the next distracting crack is even larger. What stones of remembrance has the Lord set in your life? When the next distraction arises, will your faith look stronger or more unwavering than before? Will you testify on His behalf and encourage those around you to remember to focus on Him as well? Let us stand surefooted at the riverside and keep our focus on God. Let’s remember to remember Him.

Heather O’Malley
Women’s Ministry Volunteer
Real Life Ministries Texas
Tomball, TX