There is no shortage if stories or images that display how important perspective can be. One I saw as I searched for pictures was these two characters standing over a number. One sees a “6” and the other sees a “9”. It’s all about what things look like from where they are standing. There were hundreds of such images to attempt to depict the importance of perspective, but most where this sort of thing… showing how we need to view things from the other person’s perspective to truly know what they are saying.
The perspective I am referring to here in this post is more about the difference between our perspective on time and that of God’s timeline. We typically shrink time into what we can visually see on a calendar. The longest most of us ever think is the extent of our lifetime. Every once in a while someone will give serious thought to the next generation they are raising and what legacy they will leave behind. But it rarely goes much longer than that.
However, a conversation between God and Abram gives us a great picture of the contract between our perspectives. Abram is looking at the now and seeing no kids and considering one generation longer… who will be his heir. First God assures him that his perspective is too short. “And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”” (Gen 15:4-5)
Then, just to show Abram that God even thinks longer than a generation, He tells of a longer future. “Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” (Gen 15:13-14)
God doesn’t stop by saying, you’re gonna have a lot of kids. He actually says that his offspring will be slaves in a foreign land for 400 years. Not the best news to hear of course, but God even tells him the result. God will judge that land and save his offspring and reward them.
Here Abram is coming to the end of his life and concerned who will inherit his great wealth, and God says… I have this story thought out much further than that… trust me.
We often stress about things that will be of no consequence in a few days, much less a few years or a few generations. But God has already thought through every single generation that will ever be in this world. He was there in the beginning and has already seen the end. How can we not trust someone with that perspective.
Remember the words of Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8-9)
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