I have been reading Desiring God by John Piper, a book I have struggled to read going on four years now. A paragraph is a chunk for me to read, simply because it contains so much brain food. My brain struggles to take in that deep of information at one time, simply too much to think through and digest in one sitting. So a chapter has taken me a week to read. I am determined to push through this book and once and for all get it read!
Something the book brought to perspective for me was the grasp of God with a wider picture. God sees our sins as short term and while it’s still sin and still saddens him and he still dislikes it, God often also has a greater wider scope of what is to be done in and through that sin. Everything always points to God’s glory, even our ugliness.
So this got me thinking about life’s situations and how trusting God’s bigger plan ultimately puts me at peace. I think of situations where someone seeks to do me harm and it’s not hard to think of ways people would want to hurt me. I think of Corrie Ten Boom and Betsy Ten Boom, I think of their situation in the concentration camp. I think of all the horrible things they saw, heard, and experienced. What is the greater purpose in it? I know that these two women had the same question, but I do also know that Betsy in particular deeply believed that God had a bigger picture than their suffering in the moment. In the moment their suffering is awfully horrible and I know from their books they thought it was horrible too. But, instead of focusing on the here and now, instead of focusing on the one horrible moment, which can lead to weeks, months, and years of horrible, as it was for these two ladies. It does take work and constant abiding in the father to withstand so much horribleness and be able to continually see the bigger picture. It takes a great deal of trust, trust which unless we are abiding is impossible in my mind to remain a hold of. Without abiding within such awfulness, one would wither and faint away, if not physically than in the mind and that is just as horrible as dying in the physical.
It is with the bigger picture in mind that I press on, encouraged and delighted that there is indeed a greater picture than just the here and now. Knowing the trials and tribulations of this world are not for naught, but has a glorious and even beautiful bigger picture. It is sometimes a moment by moment trust, which means it is a situation which I must cling tightly to my Savior and not get distracted from this relationship. To get distracted, to not feed this relationship would mean death of hope and death of joy. Because, away from the presence of God I will gain a tunnel vision of despair, death, hopelessness. For, without the constant relationship and assurance of who I am and the assurance of a beautiful picture I will not withstand the worlds cruelty.
And so with the bigger picture in mind I press on, trusting not in the momentarily circumstance, but in the greater good of the circumstance. I press on knowing the race is only a means to a beautiful end of culminating a relationship with my Abba. I rejoice that Abba has a greater purpose and that despite the circumstance, even if I am not rescued from the cave with the lions, the fiery furnace, the Egyptian Pharaoh, Hitler’s army, or any other trial God’s bigger purpose is with me and his other children in mind.
God be praised for ever and ever!