By Lindsay Dryer
Keeping Your Eyes on the Father
A friend of mine recently shared a somewhat traumatic experience of hers. Her daughter, who is a toddler, has had a habit of tugging on her hair since she was just a little baby. It wasn't really anything to be concerned about until one day, my friend went to get her daughter out of her car seat, and the little girl had wrapped her hair so tightly around her finger that her finger was blue. This was quite alarming for my friend, so she sought advice from her pediatrician, who recommended having her hair cut in an attempt to break the habit (and save her fingers!).
Off they went to the hair salon, and this little almost-2-year old girl went from shoulder-length, wavy hair to an adorable pixie cut. My friend was heartbroken for her daughter. She didn't imagine her first hair cut being under these circumstances or being this short. I can only imagine how I would feel if it was my own daughter.
It never would have been my friend's preference for her daughter's first hair cut, but she was doing what was best for her. A few days after the haircut, she shared the most precious photo on social media that her husband had snapped while they were at the salon. As the tiny girl sat in the big chair getting her hair cut, her mama is bent down, face to face, holding her face in her hands, keeping her still while the stylist cuts, looking into her eyes and showing the sweetest smile to reassure her that it will all be okay.
I literally cried when I saw the picture. I immediately imagined it as me and Jesus. Or you and Jesus. Isn't that the way He cares for us?
When we're facing something really hard, something that would have never been our idea of a good idea, there He is holding our face in His hands, looking us in the eye, and whispering to us, "I know it's hard. I know it's not comfortable. But it's for your good. Lock eyes with Me and trust Me."
There's something powerful about locking eyes with Jesus; about standing still long enough to hear Him speak. It's easy to become so overwhelmed by or anxious about the circumstances in front of us that we forget to look up at our Savior and recognize that He's working for our good. It's easy to get so busy fixing things and covering our bases that we miss out on letting HIM fix it. It's hard to really listen if we aren't standing still.
I love what God commands us in Psalm 46:10. He says,
Being still almost seems like a foreign concept to us in this day in time. We are a culture of go-go-go. We work nonstop, we fill our schedules, we do everything quickly. It's hard to be still! But that's the only way we're going to really be able to listen to His voice. Look what it says in the CSB version and MSG version.
“Stop your fighting, and know that I am God." (CSB)
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God." (MSG)
Stop fighting for yourself. Step out of the crazy traffic of life. Be still. Look up. Take a long, loving look into His eyes, and know in your heart that He. Is. God. He's in control.
He sees the giant you're facing. He's bigger.
He knows the battle you're fighting. He already won the victory.
He wants to look you in the eyes and tell you, "I see you. I'm here with you. This is not easy, but it's for your good. Lock eyes with me and trust me."
What area of your life keeps you moving nonstop? Where do you feel like you need to focus on being still, locking eyes with Jesus, and listening?
Mom Tip for Holding Your Child’s Attention
Have you ever tried to have a serious conversation with your little one? In my experience, that can be quite a challenge because kids don't like to stand still for very long. When I try to discipline my 4-year old or explain why hitting her brother is not okay, she's more concerned about making sure he doesn't get that toy she was playing with. Her eyes are everywhere but on mine, and her ears might be hearing what I'm saying, but it's highly unlikely that she's listening.
I learned something really helpful a couple of years ago. When I need to speak an important message to my daughter, I will tell her, "Put your hands on Mommy's face." This kind of forces her attention to be on my face. Every once in a while, her eyes will veer off, but for the most part, she has her eyes on mine, and she's not so easily distracted. I can't remember where I even saw this taking place, but I remember seeing it and thinking, "That mom is a GENIUS!" And ever since then, I've been so grateful to have that one in my bag of tricks!