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September 11, 2017

The Bigger Picture

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in the seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains…”

Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at Me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Psalm 46: 1-3, 10 (The Message)

The temporal side of my spirit—the side which feels better when I think I have control over the world around me—suspects that the psalmist may not have been sitting in the midst of the hurricane force winds and rain like that of Hurricane Irma.

I wonder. Maybe.

I wonder what he was experiencing when he was inspired to write those words. I wonder if he had just heard the oft-used phrase of today, from friends and the local news pundits and prophets of his day, as they looked out at the picture before them—

Conditions are beginning to deteriorate…”

I wonder if he had ever been through a hurricane like our friends in Texas went through recently, or the state of Florida has gone through with Hurricane Irma, now heading to Georgia, Alabama and parts north and west.

I wonder if the words of that psalmist were on the lips of the signalman 2nd class of the small tender ship—a ship which provides supplies and other support to the entire fleet—as a part of the naval fleet caught in a hurricane at sea, as he radioed from ship to shore the ominous picture he was observing before him outside the windows of the control bridge:

“…We have eighty-foot seas with 120 knot winds…we’re taking on water over the bow and have a fire in the engine room. Sir, we’ve lost our running lights and are in danger of being run over by an aircraft carrier that can’t see in the dark…”

Conditions are beginning to deteriorate…”

Amidst the helplessness and frustration which builds inside me as I realize I am powerless to do anything to stop a storm or fix a condition—having absolutely no control—the psalmist suggests in the passages above from Psalm 46, that I should stop, take a deep breath and a long, loving look at the God who is above everything. And see the bigger picture.

Really. I wonder what he was experiencing at that moment.

In our better moments, we know that the eternal picture—which our relationship with Christ assures us—is the picture we will eventually see. It’s that big picture of our lives in the scheme of eternity.

But what we struggle embracing from the psalmist’s words is the truth that the big picture is now. The big picture he is talking about is in the center of every one of our storms—now. As “conditions begin to deteriorate,” the big picture is that God is there, and is our “safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him.”

We’ve all been there before and many of you are there now—in the eye of a storm. We’ve all seen it and been there when conditions begin to deteriorate. Yet often we never see the storms coming and are blindsided when they hit. One moment our husband is eating lunch waiting to board his plane for home, the next minute he suffers a massive heart attack. One moment the picture is calm and sunny at work, the next moment we get our dismissal notice.

One moment all seems under control, and the next, the collection agency calls. After a hard day at the office, coming home to what we hope is some relief—our wife says she can’t live like this anymore. The phone rings, there’s been an accident. The doctor does her best to wrap cotton around the words that someone you can’t live without isn’t going to make it.

One moment all is calm and seemingly under control in our worlds, and in the next turn around the bend all heck breaks loose.

Conditions are beginning to deteriorate…”

Yet through it all, the psalmist reminds us that God remains a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him. Or as another translation states: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

That’s the big picture. That’s the eternal side which our spirits thirst for when conditions begin to deteriorate and we are spinning out of control in the everyday moments and storms of our lives. Remembering that He is always there, calm and in control, when we’re not and can’t be.

And in the big picture of today and into eternity—the psalmist reminds us that conditions are fine. God is there not only to comfort us, but to help us, to guide us, to lift and encourage us to a better way and a better day. It’s all part of the bigger picture.

May I suggest that as we continue to pray for those in the eye of the storms all around us—storms which we may experience today and in one of our tomorrows—that we claim the eternal picture of it all. And that we take a long, loving look at the God Who is above everything, today, tomorrow, and throughout all eternity.

It’s a heavenly view of the bigger picture—for all of us, for today, for always.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2017. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts

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