Have you ever been somewhere where you can see a long way? Picture in your mind the view from a mountain top. You can see a lot of landscape. Rivers, roads, tree lines, meadows. There are a lot of details and specific markers that help you identify where you are and where you have been.
If you are like me, when you look from the mountain view of your life, you can rattle off many markers that may have shaped your life. School, abuse, addiction, car wreck, divorce, bankruptcy, abortion, buying a house, getting new jobs, losing jobs, getting married, having children, death of loved ones, moving to new cities. These markers act as points on a map tracing our journey. But. There is more.
Here is one of those Holy Buts. If you look at your life and you only see those woundings or events, only see the hurt and scars, you might need to look again.
Many of us have long memories of past hurts and use them as stumbling blocks and excuses to stop us from moving forward. With great precision, we can articulate how this person did this and now we…. Or we say, “I chose this and now I can’t….”
When we do this, we need to look again because we fail to see God’s presence in the exact same life. Do we have a long memory of God’s faithfulness and help? With the same precision, can we articulate, this happened…but God…? He is, in a word picture, the mountain that we move over and around and through. He is our rock.
God was there. God is there. God will be there.
Was working, is working, will be working for our good.
In the book, The Shack, they pose a question to Mack about why he looks to the future and makes up things that will happen, but he never sees God in the future with him. Our regret about the past, our fear of the day, our anxiety about the future might be radically altered if we zoom out and see God is here.
It is, after all, His world. And we are His people.
Take a moment to pray this prayer out loud over yourself and your loved ones. Take a long view at God. Learn how to recount His presence in your life. It may help you see better.
O LORD, You have searched me
and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
You have laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
Psalm 139 1-7