A couple of weeks ago, we had an experience that occurred in our home.
It was the Friday morning of the Middle School Fall Retreat. Lily woke up and came to visit with me. She was visibly shaken and told me that she had just awoke from the worst dream she had ever experienced.
I snuggled with her on the couch while she told me about her dream through her tears. When she finished I asked her if I could pray for her. I simply prayed and asked the Lord to fill her with peace, and to take away the fear she was experiencing, and also that she would forget about the dream. After we finished praying she continued to talk about the details of the dream, and was once again in tears recounting how vivid the dream was.
I hadn’t seen a visible shift in Lily after we prayed, so I asked her if she was willing to pray and ask Jesus about the dream, to see if there was anything that He wanted to share with her. She quickly said no, I tried to gently encourage her and she finally said that she was afraid of what Jesus might say to her. I talked to her a bit about fruit and how I didn’t think that Jesus was going to tell her something that was going to fill her with fear and terror.
I reminded her of the Father Heart of God and what His voice sounds like.
I pointed out that the enemy generally tries to speak to us through fear and terror. As we sat on the couch snuggling, I continued to watch her so visibly under attack and distraught. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I wanted to help her however I could.
Suddenly I remembered something that we have been learning in the Empowered Ministry School on Wednesday Nights.
Focus on Jesus, not the problem!
I said "Lily, do you think you could close your eyes and picture Jesus?" She said "yes, I could do that."
With her eyes were closed, I asked her to picture Jesus sitting in the chair near where we were sitting and to focus on His face, and to look into His eyes. She continued to sit with her eyes closed focusing on the face of Jesus. I asked her what she saw on His face, and in His eyes? She replied that she saw kindness and love. As she continued to focus on the face of Jesus I asked her to take three deep breaths keeping her eyes locked on Jesus’ eyes.
I noticed that a visible shift had occurred in Lily and in the atmosphere in the room.
She was peace-filled and serene. At that point I asked her if she thought she could hand Jesus her dream. She said yes, she could do that, and I suggested that if she would like to, she could open her hands up and hand Jesus the dream. She opened her hands releasing the dream to the Lord, and giving it over to Him.
When we finished praying and she opened her eyes. Gone was the fear, terror, anxiety, and tears.
I mentioned to her that it was so amazing to see the shift in her, and how powerful it was when we directed the focus onto Jesus and off the dream and problem. I mentioned how the Lord had given her an exchange. She replied that the Lord had taken away her fear, and given her peace, hope, and fun for the weekend ahead! She got up off the couch and walked away whistling to get ready for her weekend away!
I sat back in awe with a heart overflowing with gratitude to God for the gift of partnering with Him in this “exchange”.
I was stunned by how simple and powerfully He moved when we just simply focused on Him, rather than my first attempt to pray away the problem. By directing our focus onto Him we saw the problem get so much smaller as He moved in to minister to Lily.
Where might you need to move focus way from a problem and focus on Jesus, giving it over to him?
I hope you found this testimony to be encouraging.