Setback or Refocus?

by | Apr 16, 2021 | Facing Setbacks | 3 comments

This article by Sister Darlene Ignagni is the second in a four-part series on facing setbacks in your life.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. (Psalm 91:14-15)

Any parent of a young child has experienced this scenario. The child is trying to become more independent. 

As they attempt to put a jigsaw puzzle together or learn to tie their shoes, they get frustrated by their repeated failures. Each effort is met with grimaces and ultimately leads to a full-blown tantrum. 

I was particularly struck on one such occasion when I took my daughter to a local playground. A little girl was in meltdown-mode after trying repeatedly to pump her legs back and forth so that her swing would move. All she accomplished was getting herself in a tizzy. 

But mom came to her aid. 

Mom first put both hands on either side of her face and said, “Look at me. It will be alright. I will teach you.” That simple gesture to stop and look in her mother’s eyes stopped the tears and calmed her mood. 

How often does God say to us, “Stop. Look at me. I will see you through”? 

For most, myself included, it must be a daily ritual. 

As we get emotionally flustered by setbacks, challenges, and even failures, we often lose our ability to focus on Him. 

Focusing in Times of Fear and Failure

I’m reminded of the Old Testament account of the people of Israel after a bout of ingratitude and frustration toward God. They endured an invasion of fiery, biting serpents; anyone bitten grew sick and died. 

God instructed Moses to make a replica of the serpent out of brass and place it on a pole. The mere act of gazing upon it after being bitten saved the individual from certain death. 

No matter how many times I read that account, I am struck by the fact that God chose to leave the vipers in the encampment. 

I am sure the Israelites prayed that these tormentors would be destroyed or removed. But God left them there. Instead, He offered a way to survive through focus and obedience to Him. 

God allows us to fail, falter, and fall. He even sometimes leaves obstacles in our path. During these times, we need to refocus and set our eyes on the purpose of our efforts. 

We are asked to lead righteous lives filled with good works that please Him. We may not always be successful. It may not even look like the path we had planned. 

But we must remember that He has promised us that He will provide a way through if we fix our gaze upon Him. 

What About You? Have you ever asked God to calm the storm, but He calmed you instead? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

Author

  • A native Detroiter, Sister Darlene has lived in Texas for over 30 years. She, along with her husband Brother Joe, are recently retired educators who spend part time in Alabama with their daughter, Chelsea, and visiting the Saints in Southeast Florida.

3 Comments

  1. Abel JR.

    Great material

    Reply
  2. Daniel Rios

    Great article.
    Simple and well written, the examples in the story are a true testimony lg Gods grace and mercy.

    Reply
  3. Debbie Kyriakakos

    When my son was in prison years ago, God gave me such peace! He was still in prison and I still had to make many, many trips to visit him, but I had a peace that could only come from God. And I thank Him for that.

    Reply

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