The Big Picture

Christians often encourage one another with the phrase “God sees the big picture.” While it’s true – God does have a panoramic view of our lives; it isn’t always a comfort to hear those words. Imagine yourself in a large stadium full of thousands of people. If you were on the other side of the stadium from a friend, you would see the larger picture, the huge crowd, but could you pick out your friend? Could you see whether your friend was standing or sitting? Of course not – not without binoculars at the very least.

Sometimes we feel lost in the crowd. Sometimes the fact that God is looking at this huge all-encompassing view makes us feel small and unnoticed. But the scriptures point out that God has another perspective. He not only sees the Big Picture, He also sees all the tiny, seemingly unimportant details of each of our lives. He isn’t just seeing us from a distance. He knows the color of our eyes, He knows what our first thought is each morning when we open those eyes to face a new day. He is interested and concerned about everything that we feel and think. He knows our fears and our joys and He wants us to share them with Him every day.

Psalm 139:1-2 says “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you understand my thought from afar.”

You may not see your friend stand up in that crowded stadium, but God does. He also knows what each person in that place is thinking even before they think it. The Lord cares about the Big Picture because it’s His ultimate plan. But He knows that the big picture is made up of the details. God is interested in the little things as well as the big ones.

Invite the Lord into the details of your life and trust Him to fit you into His big picture.

God Has a Plan

I love the story of Esther. It’s a great reminder that God has a plan for every life. There are no coincidences, no chance meetings.                 Esther didn’t just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes I think we take for granted the way our lives move forward. We see changes in our direction, we see our lives heading away from the course we expected but we focus so much on being disappointed in the changes or trying to adapt to what we don’t want, that we forget to seek God on what His plan is. We might be positioned like Esther, in a unique place for an important, life-changing purpose but we may not have a Mordecai to point it out to us and we miss it. When we moved to Iowa from Ohio it was the last thing I ever expected but now, almost ten years later, I can see that it was exactly the right decision. What if I had resisted, or tried to figure out a different path on my own? What would my life look like today?

Now, when life sends me into unexpected paths I try to remember to ask God to show me His plan and then cooperate with Him. The world would say” go with the flow.” I would rather go with the Holy Spirit, thank you!

Esther 4:14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?

Knit Together

Have you ever looked closely at a knitted sweater or scarf? The rows are so intertwined that you have trouble following a single strand of yarn. Each row connects to the row before it in a complex pattern that holds it all together.

I believe that God desires us to be like that sweater, knitted together so thoroughly that our lives are inseparable. He desires that we are one in spirit with Him and with one another. He wants us to be so connected that we share our victories and our struggles. We are much stronger together than alone.

But this knitting together requires that we learn to trust each other with our lives. We cannot come alongside each other if we have walls built to protect ourselves. We have to be vulnerable and pliable. You cannot knit with stiff yarn!

The knitting of hearts also requires communication and the sharing of our time and talents. We get so busy with the details of our daily activities that we don’t take the time to invest in the lives of those God has put in our path.

Relationships are the only thing we can take with us to heaven. Why not spend some time today knitting a few of your own?

Colossians 2:2  I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.  (NLT)

Mighty to Save

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.   Zephaniah 3:17

Our God is a mighty God. He tells us in this verse that He is mighty to save. Some versions of this verse say He is a strong warrior. Think about that for a moment. He is stronger than any human or angel. He is mightier than any foe. Yet in the same verse we are told he delights in us, and will quiet us with His love and will sing over us. Can you picture a mighty warrior singing? It’s a powerful picture to be sure.

We know that God will save us from death and will take us to Heaven to live with Him forever. But I think it’s also worth a moment to consider what else He saves us from. The Israelites, no doubt, were thinking of armies and dangers that they faced. But what enemies do we face in the 21st century? We in America don’t spend a lot of time thinking about being saved from physical enemies, though perhaps we should. The threats we face are more subtle but are just as capable of defeating us as an armed soldier.

There are things from which we need saving on a daily basis. God is able to save us from despair, unforgiveness, disappointment, and regret. He is able to save us from ourselves. He is able to save us from making bad choices, saying the wrong thing, and so much more. All that’s required is that we remember He is with us. He says He is, in the verse we just read. He is waiting to rescue us from every threat we face be it big or small. He will fight for us! He delights in us! He loves us! And even more amazing, He sings!

Can you hear Him?