Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eternal Focus ~By Tyler Goettl

To start off, I would like to give some background on my story. I am being selective in what I tell only to ensure that what I convey relates to what the Lord has done in my life; and what may possibly benefit anyone who has time to read this. You didn’t really want to hear about my 6th birthday party anyway…

As a serious follower of Christ, my story starts at age 20. I was becoming worn out by my secular lifestyle. Halfway through college, success was all but guaranteed, but significance was something I seriously lacked. After shying away from Christian fellowship for five years, a professor invited me to his church and I went. It only took one man willing to ask me to church to turn things around in my life. Confidently, I can say the Lord has treasures set aside for him in reward for his faithfulness. I began pouring into the word daily and soon I met a woman and fell in love.

Her parents, being devoted Christians, would have ran me off in the blink of an eye had they not seen my passion for the Lord. But they trusted me, and a year later I was happily married.

Had I not been following the Lord, I would have missed out completely. So it’s true:

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all the rest will be added
unto you (Mat 6:33).

After two years of marriage my wife and I were blessed with a baby boy, we had a beautiful home, and a lifetime to share together.

It was truly a match made in heaven. It seemed to be a trouble free time in life and I genuinely couldn’t have asked for more.

One year later, my wife passed away after fighting Leukemia for nearly 12 months.

What was left was a one year old son to be raised, and a man with no clue what life was for and which direction to go. Everything I saw in my future had vanished into thin air. The very thing I had fixed my gaze on could no longer be seen, and my foundation was broken.

After that I held on loosely to the Lord for two years; not willing to let go completely because I believed he was my life support and I was afraid walking away from him would be the same as pulling the plug. But I didn’t draw near to him. My life was full of bitterness, anger, and constant pain.  Trying to move on and searching for purpose, I looked for another woman thinking I only needed to get back to the same place in life so I could continue where I left off. Looking back, it’s almost tragic to see me searching for earthly things to bring contentment into my life. Did I not realize that earthly things had let me down once already? But of course, I got what I looked for, only on my terms and not the Lords. Not surprisingly, it only made things worse. Realizing I was struggling in vain, broken and burdened, I finally turned to the Lord with all my heart. In His graciousness, He picked me up, reassured me, and showed me the truth: We are not here to struggle for ourselves, but for others, and the only things worth having in life, are the things the Lord gives you.  

In all earnestness, I hope that what I am writing will help someone in need.  Though many have suffered more greatly than I, for my own strength I have suffered enough to recognize my frailty. And what comes out of all of the trials is a new perspective.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT) So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

All the things I struggled to obtain in the past, I realize now, will only last a moment. My job, my hobbies, my home and possessions, even my family and friends will fade away. I’m not saying these things are meaningless, only that we all too easily fix our gaze on these things instead of our Father. So what happens when these things are taken away? Those with everything and those with nothing can switch places in an instant. But when the worldly things are stripped away the only things that remain are eternal things. So doesn’t it make sense to focus on eternal things in the first place since we do not know how long the earthly things will last? Especially since we know for certain they will not last forever? Focusing on eternal things (service, fellowship, charity, worship, prayer, sacrifice, and love) makes a foundation on the Lord that allows us to be stable in all that we do, helps us to give freely of
earthly things, and in truth helps us to appreciate all the earthly things that the Lord so generously gives.

I will end with a scripture that has helped me steel my focus on the Lord time and time again:

Psalms 37: 5 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires (i.e. a Godly wife, a prosperous family, abundant opportunities to serve the kingdom). 6 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. 7 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Tyler Goettl
Joplin, Missouri

Note from Ronda~

I only got the opportunity to meet Bettina once.  It was several years ago and only for a brief moment, but I remember that I was captivated by her beauty.  Everything I know and have heard of Bettina is that she was a woman of remarkable unwavering faith and that she loved the Lord with all her heart, and all her soul.  She is an amazing testimony and witness for God.

Tyler, you amaze me.  The other day when you sat in our living room and chatted with Sam and me, we were both touched by your stories, and that time of fellowship meant a great deal to us.  I praise God for you.  You have experienced loss that I cannot begin to imagine.  I am so grateful that you have a piece of Bettina in Timothy, and you know where to find peace.  Your peace comes from knowing that God is there, and that He cares for you.

Pastor Larry said something in his message last night that reminded me of all those who have lost loved ones and instead of drawing into God, they pull away.  Our loved ones who are in Heaven with Jesus don't come back to us...but if we have a relationship with the one who loves, we get to go to them. 

Setting our eyes on Heaven and things eternal…

Your appreciative Sister in Christ,


1 comment:

  1. My goodness, what an inspiring story! I'm so sorry for your loss, but will rejoice with you when you're reunited with your beautiful wife in Heaven someday.