lesson three: “there’s always more to the story.”
this lesson could just as easily have been titled, “try to see what god is seeing”. this one is definitely not for the young or inexperienced…or the timid. the sooner, though, you can learn this the better.
the young (in age and/or maturity) are dominated by fear, anger, worry, or discontent. the one thing that each of those reactions share in common is they strangle perspective. they close off vision and prevent us from seeing a bigger picture. instead of seeing a panorama, we see a snapshot.
and not just any snapshot, but a blurry, over-exposed, red-eyed, poorly-cropped one.
in order to live and love fully, we need to see what god sees in people and situations. he sees the before and the after…and is not handcuffed to the now. we need to rise above the fray and the storms and the chaos of the moment, to see there is always something bigger going on.
and maybe…just maybe…god might use the messes we find ourselves in to shape us and mold us into something useful.
the words of scripture are crazy clear:
“do not worry.” but people who say they trust god worry all the time…and don’t think twice about it.
“don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” but people who claim to belong to god, hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness and vengeance for days, weeks, or even years.
“do not be afraid.” yet most people never come close to living by faith, choosing to cling by sight, to those things they can personally control.
“be content.” but instead, we chase pleasure, happiness, security and success…because we pledge more of our allegiance to the declaration of independence than we do to our citizenship in the kingdom of god.
i learned a long time ago to quit asking for god to change things or to break the laws of nature or miraculously intervene in situations all the time. rather, i’ve learned to ask god to give me wisdom to know how to proceed on the journey where he is leading me.
i’ve learned to ask for him to change my heart and make me resilient and resourceful and patient and faithful, instead. when i find myself dealt a crummy hand, the request is for strength to climb above the chaos (or hurt or madness or confusion or disappointment) and have clarity to see beyond…to see with the eyes of a creator who loves his creation.
there’s always more to the story. we just need to see it before we can live it.
and that’s a truth that god never fails to affirm.