Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Seeing Things From a Different Perspective
Years ago, when we took a cruise to Alaska, we had to fly from Houston, Texas to Seattle, Washington. The day was beautiful and clear. Far below us, a sight came up that was breathtaking. We saw the Rocky Mountains in all their grandeur. Seeing them from above gave us a clear picture of how big the mountain range was. Had we been standing on the ground, we would have been in awe of the mountains but we could not have seen the larger picture of the mountain range. Again, our location gave us a different perspective. The same is true in life.
When we are up against a wall, we cannot see with much perspective. All we can see around us are the swirling circumstances in our life many of which we have no control over. It is a helpless feeling, but it is one that man is well acquainted with. Certainly King David knew the feelings of despair and recorded his thoughts in many of his Psalms. In Psalm 42 verse 5, David writes: "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God." As he continues in the Psalm, he repeats this question and always ends with encouragement in God. In verses 9-11, David writes: "I say to God, 'my rock: Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?' As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, 'Where is your God?' Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God."
Throughout this passage, David expresses his discouragement as others mock him. He feels as though God has forgotten him. Yet, David goes on to say with his lips that his hope is in God who will deliver him. He reassured himself and set for us an example of how to change our perspective on life. Yes, David was downcast. Circumstances made him feel as though God had forgotten about him, but he never failed to remind himself that God offered hope and salvation. He had trust in the Lord who had delivered him many times. This is the trust and confidence we must develop in the Lord as well.
What we must remember is that God sees the big picture. He is above all circumstances and knows our beginning from our end. He works all things together for our good. Just as we flew over the Rocky Mountains and could see so much more from the air than we could if we had been on the ground in terms of the immensity of this mountain range, so God is able to see all things pertaining to us. If we trust in Him, He will guide us through our difficulties safely according to His timing and purpose for us. All we can see is that big wall in front of us, but God sees beyond the wall. Psalm 139 tells us that all our days are written in His book before we were born. Is anything too difficult for a God who knows and sees all?
Furthermore, we need to pray and ask God to let us view our daily situation with His eyes. As David said so well, "Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God." He reassured himself of God's grace and mercy, and we must do the same. As we lean on Him, He will carry us through the storms and change our perspective. This is really our deepest need. We don't really need a change of circumstances as much as we need a different perspective and a deeper trust in God's ability.
For us, it may not be until we walk into the presence of the Lord that we will fully know why things have happened as they have in our lives. At present, we need to trust that our Sovereign God is in control of every detail. After all, Isaiah told us in 55:8: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD." This side of heaven there are mysteries we may not understand, but we know that God is sovereign. He is able when we are not. Let Him change the perspective we have of life and our circumstances. We are called to "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding..." (Proverbs 3:5). Selah!