In life, we tend to think like that. We focus our attention on the distracting painful experiences (the black dot) and we forget the countless blessings we receive from our God. Isn’t that true? Even though the good things are far more numerous and important, it’s the difficulties that monopolize our attention!
Like the cable news channels focusing on antagonistic, dysfunctional government in Washington 24/7 or whatever crisis might occur next. Constant, relentless, overwhelming attention focused on single issues, while ignoring so much other news, and certainly many good things that could be reported on.
When we zero in on the black dot in our lives, make our troubles the overwhelming center of all that we think, say, do, and worry about – we magnify these things/blow them up so that it’s all we can see…and we tend to forget about all the blessings God gives. This leads us to feel unhappy, tense, sorry for ourselves. We think no one understands what we’re going through. No one else gets it.
Remember Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoons? Surrounded by a cloud of dirt and dust wherever he goes. That’s us, in the fog of despair and gloom everywhere we go, so thick people can even see it – that’s how we get when we ignore all the white space/all the blessings and focus on the little black dot of trouble in our lives.
Relax, you’re blessed! I don’t intend to sound dismissive or flippant with this. Believe me, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the black dot of trouble/trial/difficulty in my own life, but the bottom line based on this little illustration and especially based on the big book God has given to us (the Bible) is this: Relax! you’re blessed! You are blessed by the one true Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Don’t take my word for it. Give your attention to God’s Word, to just a few of his promises:
- The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears. From all their distress he delivers them. (Psalm 34:17)
- Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be overwhelmed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
- My God will fully supply your every need, according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
- The Lord will fight for you. You must wait quietly. (Exodus 14:14)
So. Many. More. All yours for the reading and taking and believing. Spend more time with Christ and his Word and less time with that “little black dot” of your troubles.
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand