After an unusually dramatic couple of weeks, I am trying to get back into the swing of things around here. The proverbial dust hasn't remotely settled. My house is still undergoing a fairly significant renovation, I had a child with recurrent strep, we've enjoyed treasured overnight visitors 3 of the last 6 nights and I am trying to get my tax preparation completed before packing up the family for a week in Guatemala. On top of it all, Spring sports are in full swing. Life is full!
Suffice it to say, I haven't had nearly enough time to be still and ponder. This afternoon, while working on my taxes I was able to listen to a sermon by Paige Benton Brown called "When Despair Invades Gospel Work: Learning from Elijah". It was a timely reminder sent by a precious friend about how limited our perspective can be when trying to figure out the 'hows' and 'whys' of the way God works.
Paige's talk addressed Elijah's infamous flight to avoid the royal death threat of Jezebel--and perhaps most significant, how his moment of greatest despair followed what should have been his moment of greatest faith. God had just shown up for Elijah (and a multitude of eye witnesses) in an undeniable way. Yet, it didn't turn out the way he had expected. He had been faithful and obedient--and his circumstances still felt dire. God didn't raise Elijah up to great fame in that moment, nor did He ride in on a white horse and make sure all the details made sense to Elijah.
I can relate to his pain and frustration, can't you? Falling victim to the all too human belief that the world should work on some sort of merit/demerit tradeoff? I honor God by doing this and in return God honors my obedient and faith by doing that. That's only fair, right?
How very small we make God by deeming him a co-player in our little game rather than what He is...Infinite. Eternal. Creator. Author. Sustainer. Redeemer!
The Almighty God is far too big to be reduced to our small minded games. He has a plan and it exceeds anything we can ask or imagine. If it doesn't make sense to you right now, hold on. Keep your eyes fixed on HIM not your temporary situation.
"God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day." Louie Giglio
Paige concluded her talk with a story about going to see a movie that had been filmed in her hometown. She spent the length of the film engrossed in the minute details--identifying the locations, props and extras she knew. As the final credits rolled, she realized that she had missed the whole plot of the movie. She had been so focused on the extras, she missed the point. I can identify.
That's why we must choose where to focus...the daily grind or the eternal hope of the cross. The right focus puts everything else in proper perspective.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.