Perspective is everything. Those of you reading this blog who know my family know that my father would never be described as a physically large or imposing man. At only five feet, four inches tall, he would easily be described as a short man by most any standards.
But even a short man may be perceived as large in stature, depending on the perspective of the person considering him. When I was in first grade, I idolized my father. (I still do.) I vividly remember describing him to my classmates.
“My dad is really strong,” I said. Reaching my arms out as far as I could, I exclaimed, “his shoulders are HUGE.” I tended to be rather dramatic in those days, and my words created quite an impression within my circle of friends. I had given them the idea that my dad was some sort of Super Hero, beyond the bounds of the average mortal man.
Imagine my surprise when one of my friends saw me with my dad in town. “Your dad isn’t big!” she said. “He’s short. I thought you said he had HUGE shoulders!”
Of course, I was only about three feet high myself at the time, and when I looked at my dad, I had to look up to see his impressive five foot, four inch frame. My perspective had a lot to do with my perception.
There is an old cliche that says, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” When we are in the middle of the woods, all we can see is one tree after another. It is hard to grasp the breadth and depth of the entire forest. It is only when we place some distance between ourselves and the trees that we can actually see the forest. We are missing perspective.
As the current of life sweeps us along, lack of perspective can lead us to questions and uncertainty, but the simple truth is that we are not seeing the big picture. All we see are the many small events and the multitude of pieces that comprise the whole.
God does not have that problem. In speaking of Himself, he says; “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 NLT)
His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher. To say that His perspective is higher is not really accurate, because He does not see things from a singular angle or vantage point; what He sees is nothing less than the absolute truth.
Paul said “we see through a glass, darkly.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) The New Living Translation reads like this: “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
Hold on for a minute. God knows me completely?
Do you ever think about the fact that God sees through all the extraneous stuff of your life? He sees through the facade, the pretense, and the attitudes, to the very heart of you — what makes you tick, what drives you, what makes you cringe, what you want to hide. He sees the burden you are carrying, the hurt that is ravaging your heart.
He also knows the ending. We do not.
Do you trust Him? I mean REALLY trust Him, even in the middle of life’s challenges?
It is only by looking up that you will see His HUGE shoulders — the only way you will see His arms reaching down in love.
Open our eyes, Lord. Help us to see — to see You, and to see the things of life as You see them.