I am a creature of habit; most of my mornings begin the same way. I sit on the end of the couch closest to the window and drink my coffee. The curtains are still closed, but they are thin enough that I can see through to determine the weather. However, my perspective is, in fact, hindered because of the curtains. I can see, but I’m only seeing in part. The whole concept of only being able to see in part sent me back to one of my favorite verses.
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.
I Corinthians 13:12
I find that I often get caught up in my own perspective on things – problems, struggles, issues we face. I see from my perspective and I often act from my perspective.
One of the most interesting things that we’ve worked on with one of our boys is the idea of perspective taking. You can get two people together and ask them to complete a similar task, but it will turn out differently because each person brings their own ideas, filtered through their knowledge and beliefs.
Here is an easy way to illustrate this. Gather two people – any two people. Give them each a piece of paper and ask them to draw a house. Their houses may be very similar, or they may be vastly different. Each person has drawn their idea of a house, and they are not wrong. Each person’s representation is right – it is their perspective of a house. Do you think they will draw identical houses, though? It seems very unlikely. Even if you were to ask two siblings to draw a picture of the house they grew up in, the pictures are likely to be different based on ability, or based on feelings regarding the home.
What you asked for was a picture of a house.
What you got in return was one person’s perspective of a house.
When I look at my problems, struggles, situations, even my joys and my happy moments, they are my perspective of any given situation.
As it relates to my struggles, fears and concerns, I’m so quick to look around and wonder, “Where is God?” Or, “Why is God allowing this to happen?” (I’m speaking only for myself here, because maybe you don’t struggle with this as much as I do.)
And, no doubt, the things I face are difficult. We all have those tough things that we’d really rather not have to deal with, or that we wish would be taken from us. Jesus, did, too – He asked God if there was any other way to provide for our salvation other than his death on the cross.
You see, our ability to perceive our life events is like my ability to see the weather without opening the curtain. At best, it’s going to be hampered, visible – but unclear. I can’t see too far out the window – maybe twenty feet at best. And we can’t see very far ahead in our lives.
But we weren’t created to see the whole picture.
We were created to trust in an almighty God – One who is all-powerful, all-knowing.
We were not created to understand the things of God in this earthly realm.
I was looking at an aspect in my own life lately. Like I said at the beginning, I am a creature of habit. There have been some situations this year that have pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I have spent a lot of time asking God “why” and “how come”. I keep coming back to the realization that even in my own life, I can see – but only through the curtain. I can know and understand but only based on my limited experience.
Perhaps God is stretching me through some of these situations, to get me into a place where I’ll be even more useful for His purposes.
I’m sure you know the saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” I have no feelings one way or the other on the validity of that statement. What I do know is that each day when my eyes open, God has opened a door (or window!) for me to be used in that day. So maybe my situation is going to change, and maybe it’s going to be different from what I’d like it to be. Maybe it’s time I stop being such a creature of habit and take the reminder that I’m providing here – just trust.
We were created to trust in One who takes the talents He gives us, the abilities He gives us, the pain that we endure, the struggles that come. When we surrender our lives to Him, we turn over all aspects to let Him do as He will. We don’t know what that will look like, we don’t know what will come, we don’t know what will be asked of us. We must choose to trust that the One who created heaven and earth can take every part of our life, orchestrate it as He will, and use it for His glory.