You have seen that person walk in the room with their shirt perfectly pressed, tie squared and snugged to position at the collar, and not a hair out of place and then heard the whisper of thought gust through your mind, “That’s someone who has it all together.” And if we’re honest that’s the way we want people to look at us, and for the most part, we put on a pretty good show—but we know the truth. There are a few exceptions to this display of perfection, and those people will declare, “I don’t care what people think about me.” More than likely they do, but maybe they have experienced the exhaustion of keeping it all together, or maybe this attitude has been engrained in them since childhood. But most of us do care about the way we look and what others think, so we do our best everyday to present to the public the person we want them to see.
However, there are times we need the reminder that no one has it all together, so you can lighten up on yourself. No one knows what that man or woman who looks like they could be on the cover of any magazine struggles with behind the scenes of their life. I know what can go on behind the scenes and so do you if you think about it. It’s called struggle—and we all struggle with something. All that we see is the coverup of that struggle, but it’s there. It may be a struggle with guilt or low self-esteem. It is often the struggle with the way one looks or depression or anxiety. We makeover the struggle of failure and disappointments. We cover the struggle of addictions and fractured or broken relationships. We hide our sinful habits and fleshly desires. We cover selfish ambitions and our unwillingness to love as Christ has loved us. Don’t be fooled, this is what people do. So rest when you don’t have it all together, and silence that false notion when you see someone who appears to have it all together. Most of all, remember the way God sees you.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For [the LORD does] not [see] as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
What Jesus did on the cross was a coverup for each one of us. By His sacrificial death and the cleansing power of His blood, He covered all our sin. He is the One who had it all together because He knew we never could!
To watch and pray is the Believer’s most important activity, but especially during times of uncertainty and fear. Sometimes we pray, but we don’t watch, and other times we watch without much praying. When we watch and pray in tandem, we can receive just what we need to get through the hour, day, week or months. If we pray and don’t watch, we miss what God is trying to say to us. If we watch without praying, we end up full of anxious thoughts, but when we watch and pray, God shows us that He is with us.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.” —Matthew 26:41
You are being severely tempted right now to give yourself over to fear. You are being tempted to live by the old nature rather than the new nature. The new nature we have in Christ did not come equipped with any fear, but fully equipped with faith in God. One thing to watch is not so much the news, but to watch yourself, that you don’t give in to the fear.
“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.”
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” —Luke 21:36
God in heaven sees those among us who give themselves to this spiritual activity. He knows the very ones who ask for eyes to see and ears to hear. God will honor those who occupy themselves in the disciplines of watching and praying. When we give ourselves to prayer, it’s like using the pry bar on our spiritual eyes to give us vision more than most people can see during a crisis such as the coronavirus.
By now you may have gone a great deal of time in your walk with God without really knowing how to watch and pray, but now is a good time to learn how. Only by faithful and fervent praying can you see the warnings and affirmations and directions God is giving. In the days ahead, learn how to watch and pray and what you will see is your fear fading and God’s presence appearing in so many different ways. Believe this, there is more taking place right now than what you see and hear in the news. But the only way you will know is by watching and praying. Watch and pray!