At some time or another, you’ve probably experienced the pain of a splinter in your hand. Most of us know the feeling of having an unpleasant distraction and a constant annoyance like that. It’s hard to ignore a splinter. It’s the kind of distraction that we have to be intentional about removing, just like so many other distractions. Often, the best way to remedy a splinter is to ask for help from someone with the skill to safely remove it without causing more damage. The best thing we can do is take our eyes off of the splinter (or distraction) and shift our focus to the calm, steady presence that’s helping to remove it. 



How do we keep our focus on Jesus in the midst of a distracted world that’s constantly grabbing for our attention? In John 15, Jesus tells us that He is the vine, and we are the branches. He tells us to “remain” in Him numerous times. In John 15:4, Jesus specifically says, “Remain in Me, and I in you.” This direction from Jesus is the key to overcoming distractions in our lives. 


To remain in Jesus isn’t just a desire; it’s a choice that demands focus. To focus on something is simply the ability to pay attention to what is important in the midst of distractions. The world wants our focus and is full of endless opportunities for us to lose sight of what’s important, but Jesus wants our focus to be on Him first and foremost. In order to remain in Jesus, we must make daily decisions to do the things that keep us in close contact with Him. 



If we remain in Him, Jesus promises that He will remain in us. He is lovingly calling us into a close, mutual relationship. He is the focus that allows us to navigate through the pain and challenges of this world. We have the option to daily live in a close relationship with a God that is full of truth, grace, strength, mercy, and love. It won’t happen overnight, but all it takes is the first step toward Him, followed by another—day by day, moment by moment, shifting our focus back to what’s important. 


SCRIPTURE TO READ: Hebrews 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 4:18; John 15:1-8; Matthew 6:33





        What specific times throughout each day can I pause to acknowledge God? 


        What practices can I implement throughout each day to keep me in contact with God? 




Father, thank You for creating me to be in a close relationship with You. I acknowledge that You are the vine, and I am the branch. I choose to remain in You today. Help me to clearly see what choices I can make today that will draw me close to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.