Lately I have been thinking about how there is so much that doesn't make sense to me. You know the big things, like ... why is pain and suffering the best teacher? ... how do we pray for something for years without an answer and still pray in faith? ... how do I live in the now but focus on the then?
The little clues of truth God has been planting in my life started several weeks ago. First as a sermon, then in some morning devotions and last of all in a book I was reading. The clues over the last few weeks point towards one word ...eternity. This life I am living right now is only a blip, a mist, a shard of ice off the tip of the iceberg. Why then do we get so caught up in that tiny speck. It is time to see the bigger picture.
I just finished another ARC book titled Reclaiming Lily. I discovered an undercurrent theme of how God is in the big things and in the little things and He is especially present in the things we don't understand. I will explain more about that in my review.
Here is a clip from my devotions this week that sums it up nicely - (another clue).
"God is everywhere present, so why am I surprised when I find him in unexpected places? Royalty in a manger? Sovereignty riding a common colt through the streets of Jerusalem? Peace by the beside of my friend's mother who is trying of leukemia? Expectations are disappointed. Plans are thwarted. I do not like what life does to people and plans." (Ruth Senter)The fact that God does so many things that don't make sense to us is actually part of the plan. "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing..." (1 Cor 1:18) God has a grand scheme plan, a large scale purpose, a never-ending plot that cannot be explained in the first few words of an introductory sentence.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him -" (1 Cor 2:9)So the next time you find yourself scratching your temple, shaking your head and fists at God, think for a moment about the fact that we are unable to see the whole story from our limited perspective. Imagine it like acting as an extra in a movie. Your scene runs a full one minute and eight seconds then the camera swerves back to the main character. With that small presence you don't have anything to do with the setting, the arc of the characters or even the plot. You weren't there when it all started and you won't be there when it all ends either. Even if it turns out to be the best movie ever made, poised to accept a long string of awards, you are insignificant. You are a by passer. You are an extra. You are 'Guy, the expendable crewman number six'.
However don't stop there. That isn't the end of the story. There is something else that's good news. The best news of all.
- You are a child of the Living God (1 John 3:1,2)
- You are Christ's friend (John 15:15)
- You are adopted by God (Rom 8:15)
- You are a citizen of Heaven (Phil 3:20)
- You are an heir of God (Rom 8:17)
- You are blessed (Eph 1:3)
- You are chosen by God (holy, beloved) (Col 3:12)
- You are a member of His body (1 Cor 12:27)
So how does that fit in with the whole fleeting moment thing?
Simple. Our life here ... our troubles here are temporary. Our life here on Earth is what is fleeting and small. But our life IN CHRIST is what will last forever. If you find yourself lost in the moment, neck deep in frustration, worry or pain, take a step back. Ask God for an eternal perspective. Spend time alone with Him to counteract the bombardment of the "now" to focus on the "then".
Take a moment this week to plan for eternity, instead of for 2012.