This week my world was covered in rime ice. For several nights in a row, fog settled in the area and transformed woods, fields, back yards and gardens. Every stalk and blade, every dried up leaf and branch and needle was enveloped by spiky, yet delicate, frozen water droplets. Each morning, I awoke to new beauty. Perfect temperatures and moisture in the air provided an opportunity for every weed to shine. When I went out into the woods, I didn’t know where to look and was overwhelmed by creation. Should I move in close and marvel at every little ice crystal or step back and gaze at the entire countryside spread out so peacefully before me?
I often find myself in this quandary. I am overwhelmed by the heaviness of a situation in my life. I get so nearsighted. A quarrel consumes my thoughts and keeps me up at night. My thoughts are fed from what seems like an unseen source and corner my emotions. The sickness of loved ones, financial burdens and news of death consume me. Political upheaval and a difficulty of discerning the onslaught of information, have me wrapped up, often making me cold and unkind. From here it seems impossible to be farsighted.
As much as I hate to admit it, without God, I only play a very tiny part in the big picture. Like a vapor, an ice crystal, I am vulnerable to even the slightest wind. If I look too long at all that goes on around me, I have to agree with the Preacher in Ecclesiastes and have to draw the conclusion that everything is meaningless, only a vapor.
But, as a Christian, I am to look to Jesus Christ. He is the One who gives my life its meaning. He is worthy of my attention and affection. He sets me in the right place, sometimes in a situation I am eager to escape.
He draws my gaze to the bigger picture, namely that a world without Him is lost.
In Him, with the power of the Holy Spirit, I am able to become farsighted, pursue the good despite the trial.
I am able to speak to the God of Universe, and despite my surroundings can see Him work.
He gives wisdom to those who ask
He pours awareness of His presence into the heart of the seeker
He helps the weary to see His beauty
He shows the repentant soul His forgiveness.
(Dedicated to Mary Sweeney, a woman who preached about marriage without a single word and taught me more about what it means to be a Godly wife than a pile of marriage books. “Thank you, friend. Through your grace and selflessness, you help me see the big picture!”)