I've had several different conversations recently with friends about the power of our personal perspective and its influence over our lives. I’m not sure if the flurry of spring or the start of a new year has triggered these conversations but it seems like many of the people I interact with on a daily basis are in a similar place: trying to trust a God/Universe/World/Life Path that will surely play out as it should while also feeling like something is missing.
As J and I walked Jenny through the neighborhood last week, God struck me with an encouraging conviction:
“Laura, your blessings are as abundant as your perspective allows them to be.”
I tumbled these words around in my head and heart for about 24 hours like a load of laundry that just wouldn’t get dry. I was astounded by their depth and quickly became fully aware of my sin as it relates to how I process this life (in which most days I feel and act entitled).
As my church moves through the book of Acts, I was again struck as we spent our corporate gathering on Sunday and City Group time on Monday wading through the beauty and brokenness of Acts 3: 1-10.
“ 1 Now Peter and John weregoing up to the temple atthe hour of prayer,the ninth hour. 2 And a manlame from birth was being carried,whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gateto ask alms of those entering the temple.3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.6 But Peter said,“I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.8 Andleaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.9 Andall the people saw him walking and praising God,10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
This story is my story, your story, the story of humanity. The beggar is me and yet I have no recollection of a time in my life when I leapt and praised the Lord with full-fledged joy in the moments where He has redeemed—healed—me.
You see, it’s all about perspective. The beggar recognized his lame condition and the true miracle of his healing. I, however, often treat God’s provision as if it is a given and therefore simply check things off the list as He provides.
This week I looked around our city group and all I could see was miracles on miracles on miracles. Long awaited pregnancies, tiny babies with big, healthy cries, offers on houses being accepted, job offers coming through, marriages around the corner, family members being healed. My eyes brimmed with tears as I prayed over this list. Not because they had been answered, however, but because of God’s gentle reminder of once these situations once were.
The prospect of being without a home lead to the prayer for a space to be provided.
Going months without employment and income lead to the prayer for an opportunity to arise and for God’s provision to stand in the gap.
Days, months and years of yearning for a child without conception lead to the prayer that God would allow new life to be created.
When life delivers blessings, miracles even, we have to remember what our lame condition was before so that I can truly rejoice with a full and reliant heart.
What a gift perspective is and what fruit it bears when we allow it to reign in a posture of grace and conviction over our lives.
in His love, Laura