Being a registered nurse and working in surgical nursing is new to me. After selected surgical procedures, patients can walk slowly, with assistance, from one phase of recovery to the next. Some patients recover quicker than others, but due to medication, most are drowsy and lightheaded. Two RNs always assist patients while walking, one on each side, and if patients look unsteady, we say two things, “Keep your head up and your eyes forward.” When patients follow these simple instructions, they become steadier and walk safely.
During a time of prayer, God showed me how this was a beautiful spiritual illustration! In Scripture, we're instructed to gaze on the LORD, see his face, look up at him, and allow him to take us to higher and better places. In keeping this focus, we are promised sure footing, security, and safety on the path he has set for us. These verses have been the focus of my meditation:
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:25-27, NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and the perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV)
As nurses, we understand the importance of telling our patients to keep their “heads up and eyes forward” to minimize falling risks. As believers in Christ, we ought to recognize spiritual fall risks and watch out for one another. When we see a brother or sister stumbling, on the verge of spiritually falling, or in a time of fog/dizziness and vulnerable to spiritual attack by the enemy, we can come alongside them, hold them up, and remind them where to regain sure footing. Isaiah 38:17 (NIV) states, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Looking down at our sin or our circumstances is easy and takes our eyes off the forgiveness, cleansing, and healing we have already received. God is not looking behind at our sin and neither should we! He delights in looking forward and desires that we do the same.
Corrie Ten Boon, a Holocaust survivor, spoke of keeping your head up and eyes forward in this way: “If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you'll be at rest” (Ten Boom, 2015).
Ten Boom, C. (2015). 40 powerful quotes from Corrie Ten Boom. Retrieved from http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/inspiring-quotes/40-powerful-quotes-from-corrie-ten-boom.