We were flying high above the clouds when the pilot announced that we would begin our descent into Denver. I had the window seat so, glancing away from my book, watched out the tiny window. I noticed the Denver Airport first. I’ve been inside that airport several times and it is not small. That morning, from my point of view inside the jet, the airport was a speck of white at the end of a very long road.
As we descended further, I noticed the downtown area of Denver with its skyscrapers and maze of interstate roads. We were still thousands of feet in the air so the cars looked like fleas and the skyscrapers appeared as Lego creations.
I love this perspective. I feel like I have a chance to see earth as God must see it, yet far enough away to not be in it. I know this could be argued theoretically, but I think you might understand my point.
From high above, everything looked tiny and, in contrast to the vast landscape, Denver was but a dot on the map.
The pilot brought the big bird down on the runway and we were soon rushing for the exit. I had twenty minutes to get to my next gate on the other end of the concourse. I walked quickly and was soon frustrated at the throngs of travelers in my path. In desperation, I stopped for a cup of coffee. While people passed by in a fury, I remembered that just twenty minutes earlier, I had been looking down on this airport and it was not nearly as formidable as it now seemed. I found myself anticipating my flight out, where I could again look down on it from a “heavenly” perspective.
What a difference a few thousand feet makes.
Today, this globe we live on feels like a hot-mess! Most days I don’t feel as disturbed as other days. I’m an optimistic girl, with a well-formed ability to pretend I’m fine. I spend a considerable amount of time counting my blessings, and I have many! Yet today, everywhere I look is disaster, tragedy, crisis, disorder, confusion, evil, and pain.
I’m at the stage of my life where I’m doing a lot of thinking about the future. I think they call us the “Sandwich Generation”. We are taking care of our parents while still taking care of our children. I feel concerned for my future grandchildren and what they will be up against in their lives. I don’t want to live in a world that is headed to hell in a hand-basket (that just sounded like something my grandpa would have said forty years ago in a sermon!)
A few nights ago, while the rest of Idaho slept, I woke up and began to wonder how we are going to survive if certain individuals become our next President. My next thoughts were for the children being sold into the sex-slave industry and for babies being murdered by abortion. I feel paralyzed by the enormity of this crisis and even more so when I’m in the dark.
I did what I normally do. I cried and prayed and begged God to rescue them and eventually fell back into a fitful sleep. When I stumbled out of bed a couple of hours later, I whispered into the dark, “Life is so hard!”
I realize I need a different perspective. Is it possible that it’s a heavenly perspective that I’m missing? If I could just get out of this mess, it would surely feel less daunting, right?
As I drove into my parking space at work this morning, I noticed the bright sun coming through a pine tree. I remarked at the beauty and how good God is to give us such gorgeous autumn mornings. I turned off the ignition and leaned over to grab my purse, noticing a sticky note stuck to the side. Reaching for it, I read what I had written two days ago:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
God is not missing a thing! He isn’t high above on His throne, scratching His head in a quandary. He isn’t surprised. He sees it all. He sees us all. We aren’t just little blips on His screen or dots on His map.
I haven’t always taken comfort from hearing God assure us that we will have trials and sorrows. I would much rather He said, “I have told you this, because I want you to always be happy and never feel pain. Here on earth, as long as you’re a Christian, life will be a cake-walk.”
Trials and sorrows are the name of the game because we are human. Being held in our sorrow comes with being His child. Trust comes from crossing a thousand reliable bridges and looking back to see that He never failed me along the way. This reassures me that I can walk forward today and into tomorrow, knowing that He is a Faithful God.
The looking back… that’s called “Rearview Mirror Perspective.”
This is the perspective I need.
I’ve walked through trials and sorrows for a lifetime and, to this day, God has held steady every single time. This gives me the courage to walk forward through the mess and believe that He holds. It gives me comfort to know that He wipes the tears of every suffering child and writes their names on His nail-scarred hands.
“I reflect at night on who you are, O LORD; therefore, I obey your instructions.” – Psalm 119:55