Our list of concerns is long these days, but we must not lose sight of who is really in control of all that concerns us. We must keep a heavenly perspective as we place our trust in our Sovereign Lord!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – NIV
One of my favorite activities of motherhood was reading books to my little boy. Before nap time and bedtime each day, there was story time. He was just an infant when we began this practice, and as he grew, Jonathan started selecting the books we would read together. We had quite a collection, some came as gifts, others we purchased on our frequent jaunts to the bookstore.
It’s funny how I can remember so many of those little stories, perhaps not the title or the author, but I can still recall the pictures and the essence of the content. Today, a line from one of those cute little books popped into my head. I recall the vibrant pictures that chronicled the story of a contrary old lady who was quite unhappy about the size of her home. To all who were willing to listen, this bitter woman would, “grumble and grouse, ‘there’s not enough room in my house!”
A wise old man in the village offered to solve this issue for the old lady. Putting out a call to all manner of creatures in the neighborhood, he invited them to visit the woman’s home. Although still quite contrary, the old lady retained her manners, and with every knock on her door, she ushered in another unbidden guest. With the addition of each new caller, the tiny house grew even more crowded, and the woman’s complaints grew more vehement.
Hearing her angst, the wise old man reassured her that he had the solution. One by one, he encouraged her houseguests to depart. With each departure, the remaining inhabitants breathed a sigh of relief. As the final guest left her threshold, the woman jumped for joy, announcing, “There’s plenty of room in my house!” With a knowing nod of the head, the wise old man went on his way. Problem solved!
It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? How we choose to view our circumstances makes all the difference. Not enough or plenty? Is the glass half empty or half full?
The old woman’s circumstances did not change. Her house was still tiny, but now, she viewed its size differently. Her perspective changed though her circumstances did not.
What about you? What hard circumstances are you facing? The gamut of problems seems endless these days. From sickness to suffering, from heartache to hardship, from Covid to culture wars, we are constantly bombarded by an onslaught of problems we have no idea how to solve. Under the weight of these burdens, we are overwhelmed and afraid.
Do you, like me, grumble and grouse, wondering how in the world did we get here, and what do we do now? If only there was a wise old man who could give us some perspective. Oh wait, there is. His name is Solomon, and he shares these words of wisdom. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
King Solomon understood that there are problems in this world that are greater than our understanding, struggles that we cannot solve on our own. So what does he advise? Trust in the Lord, not just a little bit, but with all your heart. Take your problems to God. Release them to Him, and trust God to work it all out.
It’s a matter of perspective. We see these big, big problems that we don’t know how to fix, and we forget that we have a big, big God who can do anything. Our God is sovereign and in control even when the whole world feels out of control. We see the terror of our present circumstances, but God sees the big picture. We may not understand what He sees or why He is allowing the present hardships, but we can be assured of His goodness and compassion. We may not see the way out of the situation, but we can be assured that nothing is impossible with God (Mark 10:27).
The grumpy old woman in the story changed her perspective. Her circumstances did not change, but she changed her response. Instead of being mired in “not enough,” she now saw “plenty.” When we trust our problems to God, our not enough solutions are met with His plentiful grace.
So let’s stop our grumbling and grousing. Let’s trust instead, believing that our great big God can make a way through our great big problems. By His bountiful grace, may we find a straight pathway to peace.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3 – NIV
O Dear Lord, draw near to us. Hear our petitions. Help us in this time of great hardship. Forgive us our sins, Lord. Bring us Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. For in Your mighty hands, all things are possible. Your Grace is more than enough.