I was helping my friend unpack some boxes in the garage at her new house the other day. Behind them was a full length mirror she had used in the old house. She was going to toss it, but I grabbed it because I haven’t had a full length mirror in my house since our last move (which has resulted in some pretty awkward wardrobe choices). So I threw it in my backseat and went back to unpacking. It was late when I got home, so I just set it in the downstairs guest room and went to bed. A few days later as I rushed out the door to a meeting, I remembered my new find and popped in for a once over. “Dang, Gina!” I thought to myself. “I look smokin’ hawt. My legs looks long and lean. My arms looks strong and slender. That brownie I skipped at lunch yesterday has REALLY paid off.” And then, it hit me. In the move, the mirror had gotten a bit warped and the reflection it was giving me was a wee bit skewed. My body hadn’t changed but my perspective of it had.
Perspective. It can be the difference between winning and losing in the game of life. How many of the issues in our lives are caused, or just made worse, by a faulty perspective? How many times do we view a circumstance or situation thru the lens of our own experience and only see part of the story? It is human nature to see things from our point of view, but we when we fail to consider other options, we short change ourselves and others. It takes being intentional to stop the train of thought headed to Crazytown and explore the possibility of another destination. It requires that we recognize our own faults and limitations and be open to what else is could be at work.
But don’t fret, sweet sister. There is good news! The Lord knew we would struggle in this way. He knew being human was hard and some days, our flesh would get the best of us. It’s why He gave us His promise in Isaiah 55:8:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways.”
He doesn’t even THINK like us, much less run on the same operating system. Which, to me, is a great relief. Because so many things in my days and weeks and months and years, just don’t make sense. Things don’t always add up. And while it can be frustrating and heartbreaking to run up against a situation which has no foreseeable answer, it is also a gentle reminder of my humanity and my dependency on Him. He interrupts our daily routine from time to time in order to remove us from the delusion of self-sufficiency.
It is His still small voice that we hear when we quiet the chaos in our head. In those moments, He can bring fresh revelation of His perspective on the matter. Or the answer could be a simple “Trust Me.” Either way, it takes faith and a deep understanding of the goodness of God when we can’t understand the hand of God. For me, nights are the worst. It’s like I crawl into bed and my perspective flies out the window. All of a sudden, my ceiling is a novel full of what if’s and worst case scenarios. The dark has a way of altering my perspective in almost nonsensical ways. The walls start closing in and it feels like there is an elephant on my chest. I have learned in the dark places to just remind myself that this reality isn’t actually real and that morning will come. It’s amazing what a little sleep and little sunlight can do for turning things right side up again.
But some days, life is just so heavy that even a sunny, blue sky doesn’t make a dent. Here I have a choice. I can keep looking at the details of my dilemma and moving them around like pieces of a puzzle to try and make them make sense. Or I can turn my gaze upward and praise the One who knows how this story ends. When I don’t how it will all work out, I fall at the feet of the One who does. Because He is so big and I am so small. But my pain isn’t small to Him and that is important. Our perspective doesn’t negate the pain, but it does give us sea legs to help navigate the waters, no matter how big the storm.