Today’s post really is a great post to talk about perspective. If you haven’t figured out by now, my posts are generally about the real struggles we face and how to point us back to the straight and narrow that we should be on. This muttering of words and thoughts is no different.
I remember driving down the highway and getting stuck in a traffic jam. You know, the kind where you aren’t moving very fast at all. In fact, this day it was one of those kind that we weren’t moving much at all. Every so often we might move a foot or two forward, but for the most part, it was a gridlock. Where we used to live, this was fairly common. In our new metropolitan area, it wasn’t as commonplace. It had been a while since I had been stuck in traffic like this. I remember looking out the truck window and seeing something that just made me take a step back and be in awe of God.
To set the scene a little more, I’ve already said I’m in gridlock traffic. There was an accident or road construction, or probably a combination of both that had pretty much stopped the highway. I was in the far left lane of a three lane stretch of the road. I didn’t have to get off the highway for a bit, so I was trying to ride that far lane in order to avoid merging cars or people slowing down to get off the highway. It was a bright spring or fall day. I know it wasn’t summer because I elected to roll the window down rather than have AC or heat on. Since we aren’t really moving, I’m kind of looking around outside at the edges of the highway. It was one of those ones that has the concrete barriers between the different traffic directions to avoid head-on collisions at 70 MPH.
Ordinarily, this area of the highway is kind of dirty. There’s usually rocks, pieces of tire tread, trash, broken glass, dead bugs, cigarette butts… it’s just a bit gross. This day was no different. But there was also something else present. To be honest, I didn’t notice it at first. In fact, it took one of the far and few between moments of movement for me to notice it out of my periphery. In amongst all the typical gross stuff along the roadway was a beam of beautiful, extraordinary light. No, I wasn’t having a stroke. It was the reflection off my wheel shining back at the roadway edge from the sun. The truck I was driving at the time had wheels that didn’t have a lot of shiny parts to them. In fact, the only shiny element was a small center cap and one little two inch or so odd shaped piece at the edge of each of the five spokes. It certainly didn’t seem as though anything with so little surface capable of reflecting light would be able to create what I was seeing. It took me a while to figure out what it was. I eventually landed on my discovery by moving the steering wheel side to side while stopped to see it move with the angle of the front tire.
Here was this beautiful ray of light reflecting off even the smallest surface possible and it was just radiating so bright. Immediately, my mind started to think about that little flicker of light and how that’s what we are supposed to be in Christ. We are supposed to be that small surface that, even though seemingly unworthy and incapable, reflects Jesus. Now, before I keep on going with this reference and what I was thinking that day, I should tell you that what happened that day isn’t the focus of this post. In fact, I’m going to stop telling the reflection story now and get on to the point. Sorry if that disappoints you. But what I have to share is way more important. So, keep reading please.
It’s easy for us to take a moment and look at something like the Grand Canyon and “see” God’s handiwork. Or for us to look at a sunset or a sunrise and see majesty and beauty. Well, another stinky little fact; that’s also not what this is about. No, I want to challenge you that God is in everything. You just aren’t looking, or you aren’t seeing. As a believer, I know that God is in everything. That’s common sense. But, do I live like it? Do I act like it? Do I see it? Yes, and no.
When I am doing really well in my walk with Christ, that’s when my eyes are opened more to seeing God in everything. The closer I get to God, the more I see object lessons and God’s hand at work in everything around me. That’s one of my self-evaluation tactics. How well I see God at work or God’s design shows me how well I’m doing spiritually. If I can’t see something that can be described as a God-thing, that probably means I’m on the struggle bus.
How often do we walk around blindfolded to the reality that God is at work in us, through us, and around us? We struggle to see God, we struggle to feel God, we struggle to think about things from a perspective that has its foundations in God’s Word. Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 6:25, Exodus 14:14, Psalm 55:22…these are all things that should be foundational to a believer. But, do we live like it? Probably not as much as we should because we aren’t keeping our relationship with Christ at the forefront of everything. The enemy likes to sneak in as stress or worry or tension and distract us from God. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle really. We need to stay close to God so that we can see Him at work and feel and know His presence. Doing so helps us not be stressed or worried about things because we can plainly see Him at work all around us and that bring us comfort and reminds us of His blessings on our lives. But if we get caught in the circle, we worry and stress out, we start to drift away from God. When we drift away from God, we lose sight of His working. We lose sight of His hand at work and we get more discouraged and more stressed and more worried. Yuck.
If you’re struggling to open your eyes and see God in everything around you, chances are you need to draw closer to Him. You may need to work on your prayer life. You may need to set time aside to get into His Word. I don’t just mean reading it everyday. I mean listening to what it has to say and really hearing from it. Maybe you’re dry and haven’t worshipped fully or recently enough. Maybe you’re just cluttering your life and your mind with stuff that isn’t as important and God has taken a side seat. I know that something in one of those areas is off when I am struggling to see God at work. He is always at work. He is always doing something. He’s always there. If I can’t see it, that probably means I’ve moved away from Him.
There’s another harsh reality to face that could be an option. Maybe you haven’t ever surrendered your heart and your life to Christ. Maybe you know it in your head, but you haven’t actually ever had a relationship with Christ. Yes, I’m saying that it’s possible you aren’t saved. Don’t dismiss that as nonsense. The Bible tells us that there are many that will know with their minds, but not believe in their hearts and they will be shocked to realize they aren’t really believers. If you’re not sure, talk to a pastor, a trusted friend. Heck, send me a message and I’d love to talk with you more.
I love music, so I’m going to share with you two songs that have so incredibly given me a wonderful recharge when I need the reminder of what this post is about. Remember one of the first songs you probably remember as a child… He’s got the whole world in His hands…
TobyMac – Everything – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QurQEiOAQjA
Evan Craft – Be Alright – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NLnlPs-m58