Transformed Perspectives

Fall brings football, bonfires, s’mores, changing colors, and cooler weather.  Last week, we were wearing shorts in 80 degree summer-like weather.   This week, we gathered around the campfire in jackets, hats and gloves because the temperature had dropped to the 40’s.

Around the fire, we remarked how quickly this change seemed to have occurred..which is actually quite normal for the Midwest.

It occurred to me that 40 only seems cold because we recently experienced 80.  In a few months, after weeks of cold, snow, ice, and temperatures hovering near the single digits, we will have a 40 degree day and celebrate its’ warmth.

Perspective changes with our circumstances.  When we are in the moment of a negative experience, we cannot appreciate the positives that could be around the corner.

What seemed like a crisis becomes a blessing when viewed from God’s perspective.  We only saw the moment, God saw the outcome.

Looking back at my life, it was the hard times that taught me the most about how trustworthy and faithful God was…and is

At the time, I questioned His presence and doubted His provision.  I wanted an immediate response, relief, and rescue from my circumstances.  What God knew at the time (and I didn’t) was how beneficial waiting and watching would be in my future.  He used chance encounters, individuals, and time to work in and through my circumstances for my benefit and His glory.  To be released too soon would  hinder my spiritual walk.

The Israelites knew how important it was to recall and acknowledge how God had been there in the past to encourage them in the present day.  Psalm 77 recounts the agony, questions and sleeplessness that accompanied the writer’s current experience.

I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.  When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,” I didn’t believe a word they said.  I remember God—and shake my head.  I bow my head—then wring my hands.  I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep; I can’t even say what’s bothering me.  I go over the days one by one, I ponder the years gone by.  I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together.

Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good?  Will he never smile again?  Is his love worn threadbare?  Has his salvation promise burned out?  Has God forgotten his manners?  Has he angrily stalked off and left us?  “Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him.”

Ps. 77 2-10, The Message

Then the writer remembers how God works – in and through our circumstances.

Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.  O God! Your way is holy!  No god is great like God!  You’re the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do—You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph

Ps. 77:11-15, The Message

God’s character and ability to move in and through our circumstance never changes.  He pulled his children out of the “worst kind of trouble,” and He can pull me…and you…out of ours.

Make a list of the ways God has delivered you in the past…add to and reference it whenever your perspective needs more than a change.  God’s perspective transforms ours if we meditate on His character.

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