Don’t you just wish that you could view your life with a wide angle lens? We can get so mired down in our specific trouble that we become nearsighted and blind. There are those rare occasions that God gives me a gracious glimpse of his purposes and reasons and I actually listen. Notice I said rare…
On Sunday, I was heading out the door to church when Liz, a girl I mentor, called. She was very scared and had been in a car wreck on the interstate about an hour from Knoxville. She could not reach her mother, and I took off to go help her. It was a blessing to be freed up to do that. I was able to be her mom’s hands and feet when she was not able to in another state. I’d like to think that I have been a step in for moms in many ways–to comfort scared daughters, to encourage, to rebuke, to share wisdom when they might not listen to their earthly moms. I thought to myself, “what would I do if I were her Mom?” “I would comfort, listen, feed her and make sure she gets rest.” So, I took her to lunch, and we talked about all kinds of things, and then I took her home to be comforted by her roomates.
I do not know the exact whys that God has me in the place of infertility (except that I know he is making me more like him and is being glorified in my suffering), but I was able to see with his eyes how I can minister to others now. If I had a baby, I would not be able to drop everything and help. My fall is filled with young women that I am mentoring–the scale would be much smaller with children. Another incident happened on Monday that God encouraged my obedience by helping one who could not help themselves. I was overwhelmed with joy of having the time to listen and respond–that he would give me an opportunity to be his hands.
I do not share this to toot my horn…I share it in joy because he gave me a bird’s eye view perspective. He allowed me to see others in need so that I was not blinded by my slight momentary heartache.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“So we do not lose heart. Thought our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Infertility, Rheumatoid Arthritis, family troubles, hard children, disagreements, unloving parents, unfair circumstances, frustrating marriages, financial troubles, unfulfilled feelings–are the things we see and experience everyday. These things are transient, but his truth which is unseen, his faithfulness, his promise, Christ, the eternal weight of glory is eternal. That is the wide angle lens of truth that I want to remember everyday. This day and it’s troubles in the light of eternity are nothing. Not to say that we cannot be sad and long for him–I think that is very biblical.
Psalm 88 shows us what it is to be real and lament in the midst of great pain without a reasonable answer of why our lives are the way they are. I am learning (ever so slowly and stubbornly) that I can be real with God in my pain and yet praise him and cling to his truth. I think I had been doing one or the other. I would either, cling to his truth that he is refining me and it is for his glory without engaging my heartache, or wallow in self-pity and sadness thinking solely about myself. Psalm 88 and a study I am doing called How People Change encouraged me to be real and face my pain and anger while soaking in his truth and the gospel. God did not create robots but real people with real emotions. Burying anger and sadness and numbing myself to get through and say the right things is not honoring to him–it does not make much of him. I was simply self-protecting. He is showing me to come to him in the midst–the messy package that I am–leaning into his truth and strength.
Oh that I can see with the wide angle lens and help others see with the wide angle lens. May I remember the eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison that I am being prepared for.
“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Perfect and complete, lacking in nothing…wow. That is a wide angle lens. The Bible has a lot to say about suffering. May it form my worldview instead of an instant gratification culture that demands now and pouts when it does not come to pass in our timing.