Turn your eyes by Tony Willis

I wanted to share a little today about something that I felt God has been growing in me about focus. After Easter has gone, it is easy to lose sight of who and what is important to us. At Easter and Christmas it is easy to “make the main thing the main thing”. However God is always the main thing. It is also very easy at this time to have in the forefront of our thoughts the situation in the world today. Coronavirus, self isolation and unprecedented are now common words in our vocabulary when once they never were. It is all too easy to say “Focus on God” or “Don't worry”, but this so very easier said than done. In Genesis 9: 13-16 we read “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Now many of you will understand this and think you've got this already, but I want to show you something that you may have missed… Here in the Queenstown Lakes District we have some amazing rainbows that come after the variable weather that we have here and we are often amazed at their beauty. However, anyone who has even a smidgen of scientific knowledge will know that there must be certain conditions for a rainbow to exist. The obvious thing is that we need the rain and we need the sun. What really is important is where these things are to the observer. A rainbow can only be seen when the rain is in front of us and the sun behind us. If you are looking at the sun you will not see the rainbow directly. And this is where I feel the comfort of God.

Yes it is truly important to look to God and focus on His love. However, when we

don't or can't focus on God and all we see is the rain, the problems, the issues, the virus, the isolation then all you need to do is find the rainbow in the midst of the rain, find the promise in the hard circumstance, find the hope in the despair, find the comfort in the strife. Just like you don't see the sun directly when you see the rainbow, it has to be there to make the beauty happen. You may not see God directly, but you will see His hand in your life. Even when God is behind you, His workings are in front of you. The rainbow will look amazing and help to bring joy to your heart, but let it do more than that. Let it turn your gaze to God. One of my favourite songs is - Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in his wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

I pray that this word has encouraged you, comforted you, calmed you, brought hope, and steered you in the right direction. And I pray that if you can't see the sun may you see the rainbow. Tony Willis

Hi, I'm Tony, I'm from the deep south and I am 40 (mumble mumble) years old. I have travelled around the world and love new experiences. I was raised Presbyterian, but I have gone to many different types of churches before finding my home here at C3 Queenstown. I am guy who loves seeing others get what they want to achieve in life and helping others up brings a smile to my dial. I guess that is one of the real reasons I have become a teacher, because nobody truly does it for the money! I was raised in a Christian household and God has always been a part of my life. Whilst here in Queenstown life has had its challenges, I have found that my faith has kept me safe and given me hope in some of my worst times. Huggzz, Tony