Author: Amanda Gott — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: October 22, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens

READ: JOHN 10:27-30; HEBREWS 4:14-16; 12:1-3

Click-click-click-click. Drumsticks rose and fell in unison. As drumline leader in our marching band, it was my job to ensure the drummers played tightly together, with sticks all rising up to the same height and hitting the drums with the same intensity. To do this, I had to watch the drum major, who marched ahead of us and kept time. While playing with the whole marching band under the drum major’s lead, I had to make sure that our hits exactly shadowed the drum major’s direction so we didn’t sound as random as a popcorn machine. Otherwise, the entire band might fall apart.

The competition field provided plenty of distractions: black-jacketed judges critiqued us as we marched on fields that were often slippery with ice or mud. Depending on the season, the summer heat made us sweat or the winter chill made our fingers numb. And rowdy spectators (most of them our slightly embarrassing parents) cheered and tooted plastic horns from the stands. These distractions caused me to lose focus at times, which then made the drumline sound like popcorn. And with popcorn, the song began to crumble.

But the drum majors were there to hold it all together, to provide a steady pulse and direction for the entire band. No matter where I was on the marching field, my eyes must be fixed on the drum major. And if I lost focus for a moment, I immediately refocused on them.

Much like my focus can wander because of the distractions of the marching field, my focus can also wander from God. Then I feel more chaotic, with less peace and less patience. When I fix my eyes on Jesus, it doesn’t take away the difficulties or distractions of life, but He provides peace and hope through every difficult circumstance.

With each pulse of life, we can remember that Jesus lived through difficulties just like us. He provides hope as the One who beat sin and death on the cross so we could live forever with the God who loves us unconditionally. God knows the pulse of life, and as we fix our eyes on Him, we find peace and hope that always hold steady. • Amanda Gott

• We all lose focus on Jesus sometimes. When that happens, we can rest secure in the knowledge that He never loses focus on us. We are always in His care, and He is always with us. How could this sure hope help us refocus on Jesus in the midst of chaos and distraction?

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus… Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)