Perspective can change everything. Seeing things from a different perspective will take the hardest of circumstances and make them bearable. A shift in perspective helps us make sense of the nonsense. Just like the perspective from an airplane window shows us streets that all intersect and rivers that connect, getting a glimpse of God’s view on our life will reveal a greater picture. A picture where all things are leading to something good. A picture greater than we could possibly imagine standing here on the ground today.
My friend Rachel just buried her 16 year old son Luke. I watched his celebration of life on Facebook over the weekend. This family has shown tremendous faith and strength in this unfathomable loss. God has allowed them a glimpse of his perspective. He has allowed them to imagine how he welcomed their sweet Luke home to an eternity in paradise, and he has also allowed them to imagine the impact his story will have on the lives of countless others. The lives his life will be used to save. The story of a red headed 16 year old boy who loved life and pranks, created hysterical laughter everywhere he went, made a poor choice of taking 2 Percocet the Sunday before last, and it took his life. Percocet potentially laced with something lethal. A risk every single person takes when they buy a 2nd hand pill. Now my friend Rachel and this family will undoubtedly do the work of the almighty, spreading his story to save the lives of others who could so easily make the same choice. This perspective has given them purpose in this pain and they will be able to get out of bed today because they have a mission. Blessed with a mission. Blessed with perspective.
Yesterday my Mama had a hard day. She’s an incredibly strong woman who has been nothing but faithful in the loss of her sweetheart, my Daddy. Yesterday would have been their 48th wedding anniversary. It was the first February 11th they weren’t by one another’s side in 48 years. She spent her day yesterday remembering. Remembering how blessed she was to have had all those years to share with him. How God has been so generous to give her a husband that loved so well. Enough love to last a lifetime. She has been blessed.
Perspective. Can we see our blessings, or do we need a new perspective? Can we be trusted to know exactly what we have today, even while having it?
Oh, what if we could have that perspective today? To know that we are undoubtedly, undeniably, unequivocally blessed! To open our eyes and realize we are surrounded with an abundance of answered prayers and favor every moment of our lives, including this moment. Let me prove it to you.
Do you have someone in your life that you love? I bet you once prayed for them didn’t you? And you got them. But have you forgotten they are a blessing? Have you forgotten they are an answered prayer because now they’re messy and moody and slightly demanding? How quickly we forget the gifts we have received when the gifts grow a little old.
At 15 years old I literally prayed for my husband. I was looking for some new boys to come to my little country town of Ava, Missouri, stat. It was a serious matter because by about the 7th grade every boy in my school was either my cousin or I had already dated him, or worse … he was my cousin and I had already dated him. So I prayed. I prayed to the God I was just beginning to know and I asked him to bring some new boys to our school. As a result of my prayer, and some other extenuating circumstances I never took the time to learn about, a family was uprooted from Dallas, Texas and their UHaul showed up on a little farm outside of my hometown. This family included a 17 year old male. We just called him “new boy” and he was an answer to my prayers. We began dating immediately, I married him 6 days after my high school graduation, and 3 kids and 25 years later, he’s still mine.
Now why is it on most days I look him right in the face and forget HE IS THE ONE FOR WHOM I PRAYED. He is my answered prayer. I woke up in the bed next to a full blown miracle. Why wouldn’t I be in sheer giddiness over this? Oh yeah, because it’s all just become normal. Somehow I’ve allowed miracles and answered prayers that moved a family cross country because of a 15 year old girls prayers for a boyfriend to just become ordinary.
Perhaps you’re the same way. You too are surrounded by one answered prayer after another.
I prayed for my children. I begged God to give me a baby. Just because that baby is a 20 year old soldier in the US Army doesn’t mean I have to miss the fact that he’s a miracle. The result of the prayers of my heart. My daughters … I met them in an orphanage in Mexico and I prayed God would somehow make those beautiful little brown eyed girls mine. Oh he moved mountains to answer that prayer. He did the impossible for me. I had no idea what the future would hold with my girls, and quite honestly I still don’t with one of them, but I know this much with absolute certainty, they are a direct answer to my very specific prayers, so I can’t stop praying now. My God does the impossible for me.
How about you? Has it been a while since you looked at your life with the same perspective? You prayed for him didn’t you? You prayed for her. And you have no idea all the mountains God moved for you to receive your answered prayer. Some of us went through a long hard battle or struggle that was miserable in the process, but it was all just proof of God working on our behalf. We know God did the impossible for us. Others may never know this side of Heaven all God did to answer their prayers and make it all look so easy.
Sometimes that happens with God’s power. He is so powerful he just makes it look easy. We feel like we just accidentally stepped into the beauty we woke up to today, but I assure you God handcrafted that beauty for you and it was no accident.
Down to every detail, you have been blessed. The house you live in today … I bet you once prayed for it, didn’t you? The shoes you wear today, you wanted them. You picked them out. The shirt I’m wearing at this moment, I recall seeing it in my TJ Maxx ya’ll (I love that store!), liking it and hoping they had it in my size. They did. I bought it because I wanted it. Today I mindlessly put this shirt on without remembering it was exactly what I wanted.
Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere are all the details of our answered prayers and blessings. Let us not be so accustom to getting what we want that we miss it.
Deuteronomy 28: 12 says “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.”
Isn’t this what God has done for us? He has opened the heavens and the storehouse of his bounty and he has blessed us. He heard our prayers. Someone in your family has a job and that job is making money to provide for you. That job was once sought out. They wanted and needed that job, and it was given to them. May you remember you don’t HAVE to go to work today, you GET to go to work today because the very thing you once were looking for is now yours!
Look around you today. You’re surrounded by answered prayers and an endless supply of “yeses” to the things you once only wanted. Every detail. Your family, your house, your job, your car. Hey your car may be a hunk of junk now, but there was a day when you saw that car and you wanted it. You drove it home proud that you got yourself that car. So if it starts today, you be grateful for it just like you were on that first day. It’s still a blessing. It’s a result of a loving God who heard his girl’s needs and supplied from his storehouse.
Now, one last thing … everything has an expiration date on it. Nothing will last forever. What you have today, you must enjoy today. If you have someone you love in your life, love them with every ounce of you today. You may not always have them. If you have a pair of jeans that fit just right, wear them today, your body won’t always look the way it does right now, you are growing older and things don’t stay in place. You won’t always be here and have this. Today’s opportunities are fleeting and if you miss them they’re gone. Open wide the eyes you have been given and start counting your blessings. You’re surrounded by answered prayers. You have been blessed.
This is the blessing perspective. The view from the top of the mountain you just climbed that allows you to see how far you’ve come. The shift that takes the hardest, most unimaginable loss and brings a purpose and mission to your days. The lens which reveals God’s fingerprints on every detail of your life to see how he has been working for your good. The ability to know all of this has an expiration date, it will not last forever, so today you will savor the gifts you have and not overlook a single blessing. The blessing perspective.