Fellow Residents of Cyberspace,
Again and again in this life I become so consumed by the darkness of the valley that I fail to acknowledge the light of day waiting just beyond the final bend in the road. I quickly become disenchanted about my future and cynical of God’s promises. I think what it comes down to is the battle between my God-given and flesh-driven desires. I can be incredibly stubborn when I choose to be. I have ideas about what I think God’s plan is for my life, but all too often I fail to slow down enough to see God’s hand at work.
My mind gets stuck in the here and now, in the struggles of today. But God sees the whole picture. When life doesn’t go according to my plan, I try to take matters into my own hands. “Playing God” ends in disaster 100% of the time, and leaves me lost and disillusioned. As I’ve said before God’s ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts – thank God for that! When I stand before a seemingly endless valley, I must take a step back to gain some perspective, to seek God’s will regardless of my circumstances.
The movie Soul Surfer depicts the true-life struggle of Bethany Hamilton, a teenage surf champion who lost her left arm in a shark attack. It follows her journey of healing as she works her way back to champion standing.
Prior to the attack, there is a scene in which Bethany (AnnaSophia Robb) is participating in a RAD Nite Youth Group. The church youth leader, Sarah Hill (Carrie Underwood), ends the night with a game that challenges the group to examine life with God’s perspective. She shows extreme close-up photos of a fly’s eye and a walnut and has the students guess what the images represent. When they fail to guess correctly, she explains that it is difficult to look at things that are too close.
After the attack, Bethany struggles to find the purpose of her suffering. But after taking part in a tsunami relief trip to Thailand with World Vision, she gains the perspective she needed to continue on. Before the movie draws to a close, Bethany exclaims, “I could never have embraced this many people with two arms.” She learns that God’s plans for her were so much greater than her own.
When I find myself amidst the trenches of life, I try to recall her story. I know that I may never understand the reasons for my struggles this side of heaven, but I will strive to maintain a godly perspective. What I consider a glaring weakness may be just the thing God chooses to use to magnify His blessing and impact in the lives of those I encounter.
When you are facing the seemingly impossible, a healthy dose of perspective will carry you through.
Next week I’ll spend some time reflecting on the complexity of God’s amazing creation.
Until Next Week,
May You Live Each Moment As If It’s Your Last,
Weekly Reflections: (Disclaimer: The great depths of my sorrow can only be justly compared to the impressive heights of my joy. If you stay tuned in long enough you’ll begin to see the silver ray of hope in even the darkest of my reflections.)
Truth in Perspective
The darkest night can’t hide the light of truth.
A lonely ray of hope can free a soul,
And set ablaze a dreary world of gray.
No longer must you force this twisted smile.
Don’t say a word just let your spirit sing;
Alone, it knows the words to make you free.
A bird within a cage is never free.
To see a bird in air beholds the truth;
With open heart do listen to it sing.
The hand of death has yet to win your soul,
You must defy its grim and deadly smile;
It beckons with a finger, cold and gray.
When dreams are lost in shadows cloaked in gray,
A change in point of view will set you free.
Just make the choice to move, and soon you’ll smile,
As understanding takes its root in truth.
Your voice will match the rhythm of your soul.
The mountains echo back the songs you sing.
An honest voice will never fail to sing.
Don’t let your faith get lost in all the gray.
Don’t let the darkness dare consume your soul.
Your many masks must fall before you’re free.
A lie will never, ever outlive truth.
A candid frown improves a lying smile.
Above the haze of clouds the sun does smile.
When depth and freedom reign the heart will sing.
You need to step on back to gain the truth.
With eyes set high you will survive the gray,
And once again you will be truly free.
To see the picture whole, is good for soul.
When love and grace at last call home a soul,
And God above does grace you with a smile,
You’ll fly above the valley, wild and free.
The mighty heavens will rejoice and sing.
As light of day does fade away to gray,
A new perspective brings to life the truth.
An ounce of faith does fuel a soul to sing.
Rely on God to smile amidst the gray.
He’ll free your mind with just a breath of truth.
Verse Of The Week:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
What I’m Reading: