A Little Perspective Changes Everything

I don’t know about you, but I have found that trusting God can be so difficult at times.  The problem is that often we see things so one-sided and with a very small view about what is really going on in our lives.  Perspective makes all the difference in how we respond to God and life situations.

In The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, Lewis illustrates this beautifully. Shasta (the boy) had gone through a lot of situations that seemed terrifying to him, but when he met up with Aslan and heard Aslan’s perspective, all of the situations he had walked through made perfect sense.  So many times there were things that Shasta couldn’t clearly see.  Clarity came when Aslan spoke,

“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia – the Horse and His boy    

All of these situations seen only from his small perspective had made him afraid.  When the full truth of the situations were made clear, he saw that they were all framed in love.  At one point, Shasta had been walking along a steep cliff without knowing it, but Aslan was walking beside him, protecting him.  In the darkness, Shasta thought Aslan was a frightening giant, but when the morning came, he could see it was Aslan protecting him from a fall he had no idea he was about to take.  He found that through the course of his journey, Aslan had been taking care of him intimately and intricately all along.  He was always there working behind the scenes for Shasta’s good. He was keeping him safe, comforting him, moving him forward and watching him.  Aslan knew what needed to be done to get Shasta safely where he needed to go.  Isn’t this how it is with us and our lives? Truthfully, we don’t have all that great of a perspective here on earth in the middle of our situations.  At least I don’t.  In life we have a lot of loss, disappointments and unanswered questions that don’t make a lot of sense, but God knows what needs to be done to get us safely where we need to go.

That is why trust and faith are so important and talked about so much throughout the Bible.  Sometimes faith gets confused with the belief that everything will turn out fine or that bad things won’t happen to good people, but experience shows us that’s simply not true.  Burying our head and not acknowledging hardship will not make it go away.  Our faith is to be in God and Who He is, not that life will be easy.  That kind of faith is unshakable, immovable and can withstand any storm because God is unchanging.  If we believe that He is a God always waiting to ‘teach us a lesson’, is distant and far-off, is angry or is unloving, it will be really hard to walk through hard times with perspective. There is no way we can trust a God who is ‘out to get us’ or hurt us.  That is why a healthy view of who He is and His heart towards us is so important.  I John 4:16 says, “And so we know and RELY on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them.  Rely means to depend on with full trust and confidence.  We can depend with full trust and confidence on God’s love for us even in the middle of the most difficult situations.  It is imperative that we understand that our lives are framed by His love.  EVERY situation. All the time – even for those who don’t know Him yet.  He is always working towards redemption in the hearts of men.  Proof of His heart and intentions toward ALL people is found in 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting ANYONE to perish, but EVERYONE to come to repentance.  Repentance is the first step in restoration and wholeness.  He wants us restored and whole because He loves us.  He is always working towards that in each of our lives no matter who we are and no matter what our situation is.

If you ever talk to people who have been through impossibly hard things and come out the other side stronger, you will usually find that persective was important.  When we were newly married, I was in a group with other young moms.  One of the young moms had twins who were one year old and almost the exact same age as Josiah, our oldest.  Her husband passed away because of a simple but tragic mistake a doctor made in surgery.  I remember we were all shaken.  If it could happen to her, it could happen to us.  A year later, we were sitting in a living room and she was recounting all of the ways that God had taken care of her and ‘held’ her throughout the year.  It was incredible!  Was she done grieving?  Absolutely not, but you could see that God was not missing from the equation.  He was very much involved in her life.  Were there still questions?  Hundreds.  Were there still lonely nights?  Absolutely.  In fact I think at that year mark, every.single.night was still lonely.  She confided that that was the hardest part.  Was a piece still missing?  Yes, a huge piece.  She wasn’t alright exactly, but she was held and knew that through it all God was working.  She could see it enough that she could find comfort in the arms that were strong enough.  The hands that hold the universe are the same hands that hold your situation.  They will always be strong enough.

In Acts 23, Paul was sitting in prison after a rough day of almost being torn to pieces by a crowd after testifying in Jerusalem.   I don’t know about you, but I would count that as a rough day.  I’m sure he was wondering what in the world was going to happen to him and he may have felt forgotten about. I know he was Paul, but sometimes we forget that he was a man.  Suddenly in verse 11 it says, The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage!  As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify in Rome.”  Basically, God told him, “Don’t worry!  You have just testified about me in Jerusalem and now I’m going to send you to Rome.”  Prison was part of God’s big plan afterall.  The officials were trying to shut him up, but God was giving him a bigger platform to speak truth.  A conspiracy was formed to kill Paul and suddenly he was ‘escorted’ to a new place, Caesarea.  He was actually brought before many leaders for a couple of years before he eventually got to Rome and even shipwrecked along the way.  No wonder he had confidence that he would not die in the storm on the way to Rome.  He had waited a long time!  When it was all said and done, he spoke many times more and to much higher officials than if he had never been imprisoned. Rome didn’t come the next day exactly, and I wonder how many times ‘Rome’ gave him a reason to get up. “God has this situation.  He’s involved.  He knows what He’s doing. This isn’t taking Him by surprise.  He hasn’t forgotten me here.  He told me why I’m here.”  I’m sure the days were long and hard, but ‘Rome’ was God’s perspective and gave Paul the courage to endure the hardship of prison and the in-between time until he was finally actually sent to Rome.  Sometimes I wonder if he thought Rome was a few days away when God first spoke, not YEARS away.  I’m guessing the chains didn’t feel quite so tight when he had God’s perspective of being on assignment. Let’s face it.  ‘Situations’ have a long in-between time a lot of the time.  His perspective helps us to endure the ‘in-between’ time and trust Him through it all.

The Bible is full of stories that had a much bigger story line than the one who was living the life could have ever known. Joseph, David and Esther are just a few examples, but there are many many more.  It’s the same with us whether we see it or not.  At the end, when we see our lives and those around us from His perspective, I am sure we will be stunned much like Shasta was with Aslan. Everything will make so much sense.

The simple and the majestic. God's perspective is so much greater than our own...
The simple and the majestic. God’s perspective is so much greater than our own…

I heard a story of a lady who was newly diagnosed with cancer and was sitting in the waiting room surrounded by people whose heads were wrapped in scarves and whose bodies had been ravaged by disease.  As she was sitting there, looking down at her feet and stunned that she too belonged in this room, the Lord spoke to her heart.  He said, “Look up.”  She didn’t want to and kept looking at her feet. He spoke again.  “Look up.”  When she lifted her eyes, the Lord gave her perspective.  He said, “I have sent you here to these people to speak My hope.”  Cancer was her door (really God’s door) to the hearts of the people in that waiting room. You see, these would be the same people she would sit with week after week for a few months.  He essentially told her that she was ‘on assignment.’ That perspective changed everything for her.  Instead of acting dejected and afraid, she began to act like she was ‘on assignment.’  She started Bible studies and became the voice of hope for those people at that time.  She is cancer free now.

We desperately need God’s perspective for our situations, not just for ourselves, but for those around us.  What if the lady with cancer had never gained a bigger perspective for her situation?  Many lives would have been left untouched.  Our situations aren’t just about us, but they are part of a bigger story that God is writing.  Really our destiny depends on our perspective.  Perspective changes everything and gives purpose to even the hardest or even mundane times. What if we don’t gain a bigger perspective for the situations we’re in?  What if we do? It matters.

God is always moving and working on our behalf and on the behalf of those around us.  What situations have you discouraged today?  Ask God to give you His perspective. I know I desperately need His perspective for things in my life…

Isaiah 54:10
Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, YET MY UNFAILING LOVE FOR YOU WILL NOT BE SHAKEN nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord WHO HAS COMPASSION ON YOU.

*The guy in the picture at the top of the blog?  That is my fearless brother-in-law, the hero of my boys, who does scary and dangerous things.  He has more perspective on this world than I will ever have.

**At the end of this blog, I’ve included the lyrics to Lauren Daigle’s song “Trust in You”.  They are worth the read or the listen!

TRUST IN YOU by Lauren Daigle

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!

Read more: http://artists.letssingit.com/lauren-daigle-lyrics-trust-in-you-4r2w647#ixzz3pFdiuOrB
LetsSingIt – Your favorite Music Community

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