Accomplished athletes, musicians and artists alike are often asked what it means to be “in the zone”. In psychology circles, being “in the zone” is referred to a state of flow – when an individual is completely absorbed in doing a challenging, yet doable, task. They are somehow able to shut out all of the external noise and distraction to focus on the very present moment to do one thing.
Performers and entertainers are not the only ones who are able to find their flow. Scientists and mathematicians; emergency responders; and everyday average Joes like you and me are able to concentrate so intently on a task that time just seems to slip away and we find ourselves doing something extraordinary.
As I meditated on Lamentations chapters three through five, I couldn’t help but be bombarded with how devastated the author was over losing their home, being held in captivity, and witnessing depravity all around him.
And yet, right in the middle of all those laments, there are these verses that stand out, that give hope and encouragement.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore
I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
How is it that the author, in the midst of all the calamity, is able to break out these words of great expectation?
Maybe, the author was just for a moment, able to quiet his thoughts and instead of focusing on the turmoil he and the other captives were facing, meditated on God’s character. As he penned these words, he found himself in a state of flow of sorts.
Whenever we find ourselves in difficult situations, it is so easy to concentrate on all that is wrong; all that pains us; all that is overwhelming.
But what if, instead, we were able to quiet our minds, to completely block out all of the negativity, and just simply rest in the quietness of God’s character: his love, his compassion, his grace and mercy, his forgiveness, his holiness, his faithfulness.
This is the space where we are able to renew our hope, to find the strength to dig deep and do the hard things, to press on through the challenge having complete confidence that God is ultimately on our side; that He is bigger, greater, higher than anyone or anything that we may be facing.
If you are in the middle of a difficult circumstance, you may be tempted to lament all day long to anyone who is willing to listen. Instead, I urge you to refocus your thoughts and “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”. (Colossians 3:2) Find yourself in God’s flow zone. Here you will experience the peace that passes all understanding.
Today’s Bible reading passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Lamentations 3-5 and 1 Peter 1