A Matter of Perspective

By Angie L. Ruble

This is the worst day ever!" my sleepy preschooler said. "My oatmeal is too hot."

"Just blow on it while you look at those deer out the window," I said. "It’ll cool off soon."

"That’ll take forever, Mom. Will you blow on it?"

"Sure," I said. "Oh, look at all the deer, Honey. Do you see them?"

"No."

"They’re right there, coming up the hill. Don’t you see them?"

"No, Mom! If they’re right there, why can’t I see them?"

A logical question. I bent over to look from his angle. I couldn’t see them either. The deck railing was blocking this amazing view. So I quietly picked him up and stood him on a chair.

Beaming, he said, "Oh, Mama! I see them now! I was about to start a "be thankful for God’s creation" speech, but stopped short when I realized it’s all about perspective. Does God long to show us his enlightened view from above? If we ask would he show us? Or does perspective naturally come with time, hindsight and age?

I love the story in 2 Kings 6 about Elisha’s servant, who was scared because he and Elisha were surrounded by a hostile army and faced sure doom. Elisha requested heavenly perspective for his servant, asking God to open the young man’s eyes. God revealed a vast army of fiery horsemen and chariots ready to assist them.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Author Anais Nin once stated, "We don’t see things as they are, we see them as weare."

The truth is, most days I am a self-centered, panicky control freak, who foregoes prayer and does absolutely everything humanly possible to try to control all the unpredictable things in life. All in the name of peace.

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). My son has that, a simple trusting faith. He is content with not seeing the deer because he trusts me that they are there.

As I wash the empty oatmeal bowl I think it’s not really seeing everything like God does that is important for us. What’s important is having a relationship with God that is built on love and having child-like faith to trust him. Like God told the Jewish exiles in Babylon, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you" (Jeremiah 29:11).

How’s that for perspective?

Angie L. Ruble
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