2 Corinthians 4:18
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
If you’re like me, growing up you’ve heard this line at least once, “Make sure you eat all that food you took, there’s starving kids in Africa who would love a plate of food that big!” …Or something to that extent. Though, I learned a very powerful lesson when I had the opportunity to see how painfully true that statement was.
That lesson was perspective.
I travelled to South Africa in 2013 after my high school graduation. During my stay, I taught English to children in an area that had one of the highest populations of HIV and the poorest population of people in the Western Cape. The school I taught at went very far out of their way to incorporate a meal for these students. What, to us, on the opposite side of the planet would look like pig slop in a plastic 5 gallon pail would be quite literally the only meal these children would have in their entire day.
Since then, everything I complain about on a daily basis seems so meaningless and I realize just how much I take the life I lead for granted. But then I wonder…”Why God?” Why do I, being as sinful and as selfish as I am, live with as many privileges as I do while innocent children go hungry? And while we’re on the topic, why do I ask God, “Why?” for problems those same children could only dream to deal with. And yet, these problems are important to me. God recognizes that, he uses that, but the question still remains.
I stumbled across an amazing article on the Internet, titled “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” which is also available as a novel by the same title. It’s an autobiography of Nabeel Qureshi, a former devout Muslim who converted to Christianity. While I strongly recommend reading this entire article, one piece in particular has stuck with me since.
At that moment, the most agonizing moment of my life, something happened that was beyond my theology and imagination. As if God picked up a megaphone and spoke through my conscience, I heard these words resonate through my very being:
‘Because this is not about you.’”(Qureshi)
It’s not about us. It never was and it never will be. “How great is God, beyond our understanding!” (Job 36:26, NIV) The only way we can be in a position to ‘Be Bold’ is if we can look at the outcome of our labors through God’s perspective. In our hardships, we hold one piece of a mosaic masterpiece that we can’t see if we look at it too closely. But as we take a step back, God begins to reveal himself to us.
Look back to the hardships you have overcome, to the times in your life where you fell on your knees, threw your arms in the air and said, “Why God?” Look back to the times where you saw no way out but by Gods grace. Think about how God revealed his masterpiece to you and how you were changed by this experience. Now, as you walk through today, try to see the bigger picture. How could God use today for his glory as he has promised. (Romans 8:28) Look forward with perspective. God’s perspective.