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YODER: Perspective helps us understand life's changes
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YODER: Perspective helps us understand life's changes

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“You have searched me, Lord, 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, Lord, know it completely” (Psalm 139:1-4).

Perspective is a funny thing. While we’re standing inside a building, it’s hard to see the whole structure. We see the room we’re in. We easily look around and identify walls, a floor, and whatever else we notice inside the room.

If there’s a window, we look and see what’s on the outside. Or, we see what’s outside the window. We might look a little further, but it’s true that we mostly see what’s directly in front of us.

Sometimes we think to turn around and look back, but not always.

We have to go outside the building to truly see it. To gain perspective, we have to walk away. And yet, while we’re on the outside looking in, we don’t see what’s on the inside. It takes hard work to know a building from the inside out and the outside in. To know how it functions. Its little quirks. The sounds that are normal to this one building. The squeaks, the groans, the sighs.

It’s the same with our lives. To gain perspective, we have to take a step back. If we’re rushing from one event to another, we don’t have time to look around or to reflect. How can we be thankful when we’re constantly running?

How can we know that our lives are three dimensional when we’re living them as if they’re barely one dimension?

Sometimes life events force us to stop. All of a sudden, we go from a thousand miles an hour to standing still. Usually it’s not a good event that causes us to come to a full stop. We lose a job. A loved one receives a bad diagnosis. A marriage ends. There’s a worldwide pandemic. A family member dies. We can all fill in the blanks. We can travel back in time to years ago and remember. Some can travel back to yesterday or even today.

When I stop and gain perspective on this one life I have on earth, I’m amazed. God’s loving and He’s faithful. He’s always been faithful, and He always will be. “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5).

The Lord has never changed. He never will. In a world that seems to be constantly changing, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

That comforts me. That makes all the difference. I stand with Him. I build my life on Him. When life takes sharp turns and threatens to harm me, I turn to Him, Abba Father. The Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End. The Ancient of Days. My Redeemer and my Savior. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The One who died on the cross very personally for me.

The God of the universe knows me. Not in some vague, stand in line and be counted way. No, in a personal, He created me and knows me from the inside out and the outside in way.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body” (Psalm 139:13-16a).

With perspective comes the realization that the Lord knows me and loves me with an everlasting love. All my life He’s been faithful. Even when I wasn’t faithful to Him, He was still faithful to me.

Not only has He been faithful, but He has pursued me. He’s not given up or abandoned me like an old farmhouse that no one wants. It sits in a place where once there was life. But the life’s gone. The building’s empty, it just doesn’t realize it. So it continues to stand, a shell of its former self. No family lives there. No laughter. No love. No tears. Just existence until one day it begins to fall. And the building slowly realizes something that’s been true for a long time; it’s dying.

Don’t be like that abandoned farmhouse. Let the Lord breathe fresh life into you. Let Him take up residence in your heart. We cannot fathom the perspective He has on each one of us. He created us. He knows us from the inside out. He knows every day, every moment that we live on this earth.

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the gains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you” (Psalm 139:16b-18).

He knows us. He loves us. He’s faithful to us.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my potion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:22-24).

Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at kathyyoder4@gmail.com.

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