Thursday, March 4, 2021
The way I understand the experiences of life is different than the way I expect others to understand me when I speak.
The circumstances of life, especially the difficult ones, are generally observed and understood in a very narrow context. It’s almost as if each event is self-contained and disconnected from all other events. For example, on a long drive home from college many years ago, in the middle of an ice storm, I had a flat tire. I was frustrated and miserable as I changed the tire in freezing rain. I only saw that hardship within the boundaries of that moment and failed to see the bigger picture. More on that later.
Yet when answering questions or explaining events, I want others to see the bigger picture. If I am in the garage working on a project, and my wife asks me what I am doing, I do not answer in literal detail by saying that I am holding a steel rod connected to a plastic handle and using it to turn a small threaded screw into a board to hold it to another board. Instead, in big picture context, I tell her I’m building a birdfeeder.
We need to learn to see the circumstances of life in big picture format. I should have learned that lesson after changing the tire. After returning to the car and driving for 15 minutes, I came upon a serious car accident. As I calculated the estimated time of the accident, I realized that had it not been for my flat tire I could have been involved. The flat tire was a blessing when seen in the context of the big picture.
As Judas rose from the table after being exposed to the Light of Jesus, the disciples all wanted answers to the little picture perspective of where He was going. But when Jesus spoke to them, He at once drew their attention to the big picture.
John 13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.”
Our focus tends to be on the current event, and we want it defined in terms that apply only to its specific context. We want to know what it means and how it will be resolved.
But Jesus desires that we interpret all events in the context of the big picture of His glory. Instead of asking how to handle or resolve the current crisis, Jesus declares that all events are working to reveal His glory and the glory of the Father. When we adapt the big picture perspective of life, we will, like Jesus, find peace, hope, and endurance, knowing that every step we take is leading to the full revelation of the glory of God.
Spend some time contemplating that today. Maybe we all need to learn to better focus on the big picture.