“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:7-10
At the end of the day, in the middle of the day, while at work or at home, when pressed to a deadline or on the second page of my mental to do list I submit to distractions. So much so that I have been known to work them into my schedule. I have some distractions that have been with me for a long time. Those I am ready to admit are more than just distractions, they are idols. They have served me well throughout the years in pulling me away from the better things that God provides.
In an attempt to nullify their power in my life I have become an expert at justification. These altars of interruption that I frequently visit serve me best when I am tired, anxious, or depressed. They reward my spent energy, celebrate my busy hands, and distract painful thoughts and disturbing memories. I have those things that I turn to daily for rest, removal, and diversion. And when these methods of relaxation and means to clear my mind also drown out the whispers of the Spirit and the words of God, then they become idolatrous distractions that enslave my heart and bind my spirit to the worship of my own chains.
When the day is long, and thoughts meld together instead of running to the Shepherd for the gentle prodding towards the river, I run back into my cell and put on broken chains and waste away. They are what they are—time-wasting, mind-numbing, heart-breaking thieves. With every perceived benefit is the reality of stolen glory and missed blessing.
But, “fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2a)” who “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature… (Hebrews 1:3),” we need not long for a distraction or run to a false god of rest for removal of those things and thoughts, both past and present, that we have believed had the power to destroy us. No, it is Jesus, who without distraction restores our tired bones (Psalm 23:2-3), renews our mind (Ephesians 4:22-23), and fills our heart with healing grace (Jeremiah 24:6-7).
Psalm 34:17-19; Isaiah 42:3; 57:15 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit…a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench…For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”