“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all the things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NIV)

In my present reading, I ran across a statement that causes me to step back and think. The book, “When Your Children Hurt,” by Charles Stanley said He (God) uses adversity to get our attention. In my lifetime,I discovered something else; those adverse circumstances cause us to focus on what is important in our lives. In several instances, our priorities change. At other times, those things we hold dear become more important.

When our son was small, we spent a lot of time taking him to the state children’s hospital for surgeries and periodic checkups. When I returned to work, I used to use my vacation time to get him to his appointments. My husband would bring him down to where I worked, about halfway to the hospital, and pick me up. That way I could work a half day and only use a half day of vacation time. Our priorities were about getting our son the medical attention he needed.

When a friend was in Florida visiting her sister, her husband had a stroke. She called me from her sister’s to ask me to go to the hospital (down the street) and sit with their daughter. After my friend returned home, she chose to forego the majority of her outside activities to stay home and take care of him, only leaving him when someone could stay with him. She did this for several years. She moved them back to their home state; he had another stroke and had to go to a nursing home. She went every day to see him. He left this earth almost five years ago. I will always remember her for the decision she made.

A little over ten years ago a dear friend’s husband had a major heart attack. They were in their middle to late 50’s. The medical team here wasn’t sure if he could be life-lined to one of the heart hospitals about 40 miles away. They had to try. He had a second attack shortly after he arrived there. The medical team there put him into a coma. She could be in his room only if she refrained from talking. She couldn’t touch him. Anyone visiting them had to abide by these same rules. The doctors didn’t want his heart to get stirred up at all. After one week he was able to have surgery. It was another week later before he was released to come home. Now, they find more things to do as a couple. This coming February, they will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary.

While our priorities change when we are faced with hardships, when we get serious about following Christ, our outlooks become different.

We yearn to see issues through the eyes of Jesus. As we put into practice what God tells us through His Word, we see things in a different light. When we receive answers through prayer, we take notice of what He says to us and try to apply it to our lives. We learn we have to put Jesus first in order to live for Him.