1 Corinthians 13:12- For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Perspective is an interesting concept; we have such a limited perspective on our lives and situation compared to God who has an eternal perspective. Time is something that changes our perspective as well. Go ahead and think about what life was like for you 10 even 20 years ago. What were your fears, joys, concerns, prayers? What did you feel hopeless about? Did you ever envision your life as it is now? Did you know your family would be like it is today? Did you feel helpless about not finding a spouse? Did you feel joyful about a new job? Go ahead and take a moment to think about these things…
Ten to twenty years ago seems like a long time from our perspective, however to the Lord we know that a day is like a thousand years to Him (2 Peter 3:8). We can look at our past with knowledge of where we came from and assurance that things worked out or did not work out like we had planned, but when we are in our present, we do not have perspective on our future and that causes worry, doubt, and fear. To be honest, I thank God that we do not know the future. Can you imagine what it would be like to know the next 10 years? The losses, the joys, the challenges, the fears, struggles, all with perfect knowledge in our human brains of what was coming? Our minds would figuratively explode!
Let’s look at the Bible for a couple examples of perspective. We also have the hindsight of reading the Bible and knowing the outcomes of many men and women of faith, but each of them had challenges and doubts as well, they were human, they were not fully aware of what the future would hold for them, BUT they trusted God in spite of their doubts.
Abraham, the father of Israel, a man of great faith in God credited to him as righteousness was asked to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, his son that he had waited so long for, that God promised him, despite of Abraham’s attempts to make it happen on his own terms. Now he was asked to KILL his son! We look back now and know the story, we look at Abraham as having great faith to do what was asked of him, but we need to remember Abraham was a fallible man as well, with sin, with doubts, with struggles. He couldn’t see the future, God gave him a glimpse that his descendants would be greater than the sands of the desert, but he did not know how killing his only son would further this promise. Abraham didn’t know that God would stop him from killing his son, he didn’t have a future perspective to know how it would end, and YET he trusted in spite of the many doubts I’m sure he had as a father, and we remember him today for his act of faith.
Mary, mother of Jesus, is another story of limited perspective but she had ultimate trust in God. The movie, A Nativity Story, I feel does a great job of showing the struggles that Mary and Joseph faced when they had limited perspective on a situation that God had in control. They believed what God had told them, and ultimately their faith did not waiver, but they still had to face doubts, judgment from friends and family, and work through the struggle in their own relationship. Once again, time, from our perspective, we know how the story ends and it is a great example of why Mary deserves so much of our respect having been chosen by God to be blessed with such a great honor.
My goal in writing this is for you to understand how we will never understand God’s perspective fully, but we can trust in knowing that if we follow and obey Him TODAY, He will take care of our TOMORROW. We may never fully understand God’s reasons or plan and that is ok and we need to be ok with that. Our current struggle with sin, with finances, with health, with relationships, with worry about a job or not having a spouse or kids, all need to fall under the umbrella of God’s protection over our life if we humble ourselves and ask Him for just a glimpse of what He has going on. Rick Warren puts it like “a human being trying to understand God is like an ant trying to figure out the Internet.” While the example is short-sighted ultimately, the point is that we need to be ok with not knowing everything… this may be a shock to some, but it is ok, I promise. Some of us like to be in control of every aspect of our life. This is one reason I do not like flying, because I am not in control! Paul writes in the verse shared at the beginning that what we see darkly as a reflection in a mirror will only be fully realized in eternity. The questions we have now as to WHY, may never we answered in this life and that is ok as well.
God gives us the strength to face our struggles as we need it, not before. Corrie Ten Boom wrote in the hiding place:
“Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed.
“Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam-when
do I give you your ticket?”
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need-just in time.”
Discerning Reflection: What have I learned from my past experiences as to the value of perspective vs. worry. What do I need to give over to God that I am worried about right now? How can I see things more from God’s perspective than my own?
Prayer: Lord help me to see things from your perspective. Help me not be worried or afraid but ask for your strength and guidance to see me through. Use me as a part of your grand plan for my life that I may affect those around me for your kingdom. Amen.