Sometimes things can look pretty bleak from this vantage point. Wars and terrorism abound afar. Violence, abuse and apathy abound closer to home. People are out of work, kids get abused, and it seems like it gets ever more difficult just to make ends meet.
But this isn’t the whole story. It’s not even the most important story. God invites us to get our perspective from Him, to see things from the point of view of His kingdom. What does that look like? Well I can’t claim to have a bird’s eye view, but I know it involves things like faith, resurrection, and redemption. Yes, God is concerned about whether we have food to eat, and a warm place to sleep at night. But He’s even more concerned that we have faith. That we believe with our whole heart that He exists and that He will take care of us. We tend to get it backwards, we think, if God provides such and such, then I’ll trust Him for more. When what He’s looking for is trust in Him, and through that faith, He will provide more than we can ask or imagine. We’d really like to do it ourselves with a little help from God. “God, please provide health, a good job, safety for the kids, enough money to put gas in the tank.” All good things to pray for, but that’s not where we’re to start. We’re to start with seeking His Kingdom. “God show me what it’s like to have your perspective, show me what it’s like to live in your culture, even in this situation right here and now.” Do we really put God first, or are we like Peter in responding to Jesus’ prediction of his death – “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Matt. 6:22-23
I love the song Resurrection by Nicol Sponberg. Part of it goes –
“You have a way of turning winter to spring
Make something beautiful out of all this suffering
Here I am once again I’m in need of resurrection
Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead
What I’ve lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption
You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again, again”
That’s why I do what I do. I know God wants to bring something beautiful out of all the suffering. That’s what He is so good at, redeeming what looks bad from our perspective and turning it into something beautiful. The cross is the best example of that, and He didn’t stop 2000 years ago.