Suffering has a way of running a broad, beautiful vision off the road.
I can have the most intimate time with God, fully tracking with His kingdom-centered perspective on my life and my purpose, but as soon as hardship or sickness or loneliness or fill-in-the-blank-with-your-poison enter the picture, my lovely, macroscopic view of life gets stomped down into a narrow and miserable fixation on my circumstances.
Know what I'm talking about? I can't seem to live it another way; the two are never in balance. Either I'm keeping the bigger picture in mind, or I'm tangled up in the stuff that doesn't matter much.
That is exactly where I am right now. Flip-flopping all the time.
I've been whining about the trials lately here because I think I lost sight of the vision for a second. Lots of seconds. I know you know that three big things have happened or are happening in my life.
1. The big move
2. The big climb
3. Let's call this one "Other"
Meaning other ways I can see He is working (i.e. MOPS talk, friendships, etc.). But though everyone else can pretty clearly see how all these things have been divinely orchestrated, I think my emotion and exhaustion have channeled my focus toward myself and have turned my eyes away from God and His larger work going on. I've been hearing friends refer to the bigger picture, or the "vision" of what God's doing in and through and around us through the move or whatever, and in my heart, I think, "Oh yeah...I'm so focused on the work and the weariness that I'm forgetting whose plans these really are. I'm forgetting the vision I had at the outset, when it all seemed inspired and holy, because now, I'm down in the miry muck of it all."
And the last two days - my goodness - my bestie Jesus has been kind enough to give me glimpses of how amazing His work in and through and around my life really is. He's saying, "Hey, are you seeing this? Because here is where your abundant life is. With me. In the middle of my plans. Don't forget that."
The minute I forget whose plans I'm in the middle of is the minute that the plans plummet in value to me.
The glimpses of His wonderful work have come in two places: seeing change in the lives of women to whom I spoke yesterday at that MOPS meeting, and hearing His reminders that this Everest trip is just a setting He's chosen to work in and through my husband's life. It's not about all the details I want to make it about or complain about. I actually have no idea what God will do through it. Just like I have no real concept of what He did through my talk yesterday. But something in my spirit is pulling me up and out of myself to believe that it is something very powerful and real. Far more significant than any struggle I've had in the last two weeks.
We are, in fact, talking about the Lord Almighty here. The Lord who is the commander over literal armies of heavenly forces. Who created the earth. Who knit together my own body and knows the number of hairs on my head.
My teensy little brain can't even fathom the magnitude of life-changing work He is doing in and through and around my life. And yet, I want to better maintain the vision that HE IS. If my minor complaints and discomforts are like a mountain range, I want to lift my view up and over those peaks and keep my eyes on Him. I love this excerpt from an email I got in my inbox from Oswald Chambers' devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, a couple days ago:
If we lose the vision, we alone are responsible, and the way we lose the vision is by spiritual leakage. If we do not run our belief about God into practical issues, it is all up with the vision God has given. The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our utmost for God's highest, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision. The test is the sixty seconds of every minute, and the sixty minutes of every hour, not our times of prayer and devotional meetings.
The hardest part about maintaining the vision God has given you for your life is bringing that awareness into the details. I'm not exactly sure how to do that yet, how to work through the most mundane tasks of life with a sense that something holy and grand is happening at the same time, in and through and around me.
But I'm trying to learn.
And I think that's all He really wants.