(Previously published January 27, 2011)
"But from God's point of view....." Romans 4:2 (NLT)
A few weekends ago, I asked my husband if he would kindly use his mighty strong arms and help me change the master bedroom around. This was not an unusual request, as moving furniture around is a commonplace at our home. It began in my childhood, as my mother would come into my "shared" bedroom and just sigh as the bed moved from location to location. It didn't go over well, when I made a line of demarcation down the center of my bedroom, separating my side from my little sister's. The furniture line that yelled, "Do not cross." Not a highlight of my furniture moving days, but one that is laughed about now.
But you see the point. I like change and sometimes that change comes in just moving around the furniture. My husband has grown to appreciate this love of mine, as it saves us lots of money. A piece of furniture becomes completely new when it is moved from one corner to the next or from room to room. No new furniture is needed, just a repositioning of the old. A new vantage point to take in the surroundings.
And new vantage points are good, for they give us a different point of view. A new perspective. New appreciation.
As I was vacuuming our bedroom earlier this week, I looked around the room, taking in the new bed placement. Scanning the long wall that once held our bed and now stands tall behind the dresser. The pictures were repositioned and the room seems so much larger. I smiled to myself, pleased with the new arrangement. The old became new once more. My eyes took in a whole new surrounding. New possibilities were opened up.
And it got me thinking about God, as much of life does. That often in our walk with Him, we can have a one track, never tested, never tried point of view. A selfish, "Me" point of view. Saying this is just how I was raised. I believe this or that about God because that is what I've been told. But we don't go to His Word, open it and dig into Him ourselves allowing Him to change our thinking with His Truths. We settle for the arrangement of the furniture and constantly buy new things to fill the open spaces of our hearts. We put Him in a box and put our lives in the box with Him, saying this is as good as it is going to get. This is all He has for me. There is no hope. And sometimes, through a particular "arrangement", all we see is fog. We settle, looking inward, instead of outward and upward, instead of living fully the life God has planned for us.
Often our point of view is what needs to be changed. God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We need to change and sometimes, the surroundings need to change for the heart to be opened and able to receive. For the eyes to be focused on something different. Ultimately on Him and not ourselves.
Moses needed this. Born in Egypt and raised as an Egyptian Prince, he fled to Midian where he spent 40 years as a shepherd in the desert. Yes, the Arabian desert was where God needed him so He could do some major heart surgery. Where Moses' grand vision of helping his people faded into a distant memory as he grows more humbled by the passage of time and the harshness of the desert. It is where God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. Where God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Where Moses accepted God's call. God was there. And from here, Moses went back to Egypt, seeing a scene completely different after his encounter with God. Moses becomes a deliverer.
God did the same with Paul. As Paul traveled to Damascus, there he was met on that road, by God. His scene was greatly interrupted. Paul planned on going to Damascus and dragging the believing Jews back to Jerusalem and persecuting them for their faith in Christ. God had different plans. Instead, God was going to move around some furniture and change perspective. Do some major heart work. Blinded by God, Paul was taken to Damascus, and as the veil of lies fell off his eyes and heart by the hand of God, he would go on and preach Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, but first he, too, spent a few years in the Arabian Desert. (Gal. 1:17,18). A new point of view. Paul became a writer and missionary sold out for Christ.
We all need our vantage points changed from time to time. A new point from which we take in the view. And from that new point, often comes a new, deeper perspective. Clarity. Focus. Movement. Direction.
And it is that point that we view from that often needs rearranging. The interior furniture. From an "it's all about me point of view" to "it's all about Him and for Him point of view."
Sometimes that change has to come about in the desert. Sometimes along the road. Sometimes in suffering. If we are lucky, it happens on the mountain....or maybe a combination of them all. Right now, for me, it has been through cancer where God is doing some rearranging.
Either way, the point of view affects all tentacles of life. It makes us useful, or useless. It impacts relationships. It impacts our faith. It impacts marriage. It impacts parenthood. It impacts life. But most importantly, it impacts our relationship with Jesus Christ.
And it opens up new possibilities. Moses lead the Israelites to freedom. Paul saw thousands of lives changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Suffering becomes joy. Ashes become beauty. Bondage becomes freedom.
And in my little corner of my bedroom.....a little nook was found that always was there, yet undiscovered. That nook now holds a chair (from the family room) and a small side table (again, from the family room), and has become my spot to curl up and be quiet before the Lord. And the room has taken on a whole new appearance with new uses. A whole new point of view.
May we all yield to God's rearranging. Knowing that with the rearranging comes whole new possibilities!