A New Year! Wow! How does time fly so quickly? As per the usual, I have made New Year resolutions for 2019. I expect to fail my “no soft drinks in 2019” resolution by mid-January. I say that with levity, because I have never put a lot of stock into resolutions. This is largely due to
the fact that I’ve never truly thought people could change in one single, decisive moment. Instead, it takes time to change yourself, your life or anything else for that matter. It’s not a “one and done” action. If it were, we would all be 20 pounds lighter, sugar free and faultless in our relationships. It’s just not that easy.
The same can be said for changing our perspective: It’s not as easy as it seems. 2018 has been hard and I have to admit, my perspective was pretty rotten at times. And I really don’t know what that says about me because I’ve had an amazing husband, wonderful parents and equally brilliant friends who have continuously pointed at the positive in every situation that screamed for negativity. They begged me to step back and change my perspective. And I honestly tried. I mean I TRIED SO HARD…but perspective is just like New Year’s resolutions…they require discipline and CONSTANT redirection. I don’t have a lot of discipline. Just ask anyone who has seen me eat ice cream until I’m sick. So, as I approached 2019, during a Christmas season that had been more “National Lampoon” instead of “Oh Holy Night,” I began begging God for a changed heart. A realization that I had a perspective problem when looking at circumstances out of my control, I petitioned God to change my perspective. I prayed for days and any time I felt the weight fall back on me, I prayed some more. And then God, in His never-ending grace, spoke to my heart. I wish He would have told me how I was right in how I was seeing EVERYTHING, but alas, He showed my own stubborn prideful fullness over the past year. I’ve been angry at injustices and situations that were beyond my control. I’ve wanted the guilty to be punished! I’ve wondered where God was in all of it and been angry that He wasn’t “showing up” the way I wanted Him to. I had been so focused on my own perspective of the situations that I failed to see that I was being prideful and sinful in my anger. I thought I knew what was best and I was angry God wasn’t following suit! (Wow…even to write that out stings!)
I need to sidebar for a moment: Please understand…there is such a thing as righteous anger. And many of us find ourselves in situations that produce righteous anger and that is okay. Mine began as just that but spiraled quickly. I took my focus off God and put my focus on my anger, which is never okay.
As I prayed and reflected on what God was revealing to me, I realized that I, in fact, NOT God (shocker), I had NO BUSINESS getting angry when things didn’t go the way I thought they should. I was relying on my finite perspective and forgetting that God’s perspective is divine. He sees things I could never see, and He weaves His purpose into even the thorniest of situations. I remembered Romans 8:28.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
I’ve realized, in order to truly believe scripture and truly trust God, I have to let go of my earthly perspective and cling to the scripture that promises God is working in my favor…even when I can’t see that. And what a relief that is! The amount of pressure that can be lifted from our back when we stop and realize we don’t have to fight it all; when we realize God is battling for us and we can rest under His protection. I don’t always have to know what that looks likes and more often than not, it won’t look the way I want it to, but that is ok. My perspective has been changed. Because I still believe what I said at the beginning of this blog; people can’t change in one single, decisive moment. But God can change anyone. We just have to be obedient and die to our fleshy perspective on a daily, sometimes moment by moment, basis.
This is my prayer for 2019: May this year be full of blessings! May God bless each of us with a fresh, godly perspective! May we all be able to see God when we can’t see the way in our circumstances. May we cling to the knowledge that He is fighting for us and His perspective is bigger than us!