June 13, 2022

It's a Matter of Focus by Steph Beth Nickel

This month's suggested topic: Grappling with Ethical Dilemmas

Are you like me? Are you at risk of becoming overwhelmed by the ongoing challenges of COVID-19? The plethora of ugly incidents fueled by prejudice and hate? News of hidden abuse in the church and how victims are revictimized? Young people struggling with their identity? Insensitivity to those dealing with mental health issues?

What should I address? What should I take a stand against? What should I focus on?

On June 7, I posted this in one of my Facebook groups:

We have a choice.

Will we look into the darkness and try to make sense of all the shadowy figures there?


Will we look to the Light? Jesus said He was the Light of the World.

If we choose to focus on the Light, we will catch glimpses of what's going on in the dark...


We won't so easily become distracted, discouraged, and disheartened.

Today, I choose to look to the Light!

I had gotten to the place of wanting to curl up in a ball in the corner and hiding from all the pain and heartache in the world.

And then, as He does, God broke in with a far better idea: Look to the Light!

Does this mean we ignore the ethical dilemmas swirling around us? Does it mean we don't address them privately—and, at times, publicly? Does it mean we don't stand with the hurting?

Of course not.

Consider how Jesus separates the sheep from the goats at the end of time. 

Are we willing to reach out with Hope to the hopeless? With Companionship to the lonely? With Light to those lost in darkness?

Jesus said if we meet the needs of others, it's the same as meeting His needs. Let's dwell on that for a few moments. Wow!

You can't do it all, and neither can I.


I can do the things He calls me to, and so can you.

After all, in 2 Peter 1:3, we read, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (NIV).

He doesn't promise me the wherewithal to face all the tragedy that bombards us each day. But He does promise to give me everything I need to fulfill those good works He has prepared in advance for me to accomplish. (See Ephesians 2:10.)

Today, I will prayerfully look to the Light, rely on His provision, and address the ethical dilemmas and needs He brings across my path.

Will you?


  1. Amen to focusing on the Light, dear Steph. We can serve God and others better when we're focused on whatsoever is good.
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  2. Hi Steph! Covid has been brutal on members of my family. We continue to look to God's Light as we persevere. I find relief through my poetry and through this I hope to encourage other people. Blessings on you, Steph.

  3. What excellent advice for Christians! Just start from where you are. Do what you can and let Christ do the rest. We had a saying on the CB radio. "I send my signal out 26 miles and the Lord does the rest." May all of our 26-mile signals cary much further thanks to our Lord.

  4. Looking to the light as I battle my own recent bout of Covid!

  5. Thanks, Stephanie. What wise words you wrote: "Today, I will prayerfully look to the Light, rely on His provision, and address the ethical dilemmas and needs He brings across my path." It's true God hasn't asked us to solve the world's problems, but those He "brings across my path."

  6. What a wonderful post, Steph. Such encouragement for us when darkness swirls all around us that we have to choose to look to the Light. Many thanks.

  7. A beautiful post, full of encouragement to look to Jesus, the Light of the world. It is certainly a very dark place these days, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed.


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