Psalm 36:5 Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
I recently took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia for work. While there, I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend and his family. He and his wife have 12 children, each with their own personal relationship with Christ. I had a glorious time of food, fellowship, and prayer. I marveled over how beautifully the Lord was being formed in this family. It was exceptional. We sat around their family room and sang hymns while they played their instruments (yes, every one of them!). As I observed each of his precious children interacting with one another, I was blessed and encouraged; it became obvious that this family possessed a peculiar love and I left them strengthened in the Spirit and giving glory to God. I didn’t know such a beautiful family could exist. I imagined one day sitting around with a family of my own. I would have a beautiful wife and a bunch of strong children. We would have a deep love for one another and greatly enjoy each other’s company. We too would sing, and there would be angels present, and God would bow His ear to smile and listen. I melted before the goodness of God and rejoiced over what could be because of the Cross. God met me in that little dream (even if that is not what Sovereignty prescribes for my life, I am a better man because of it.) I would truly be leaving Atlanta a different person.
Disclaimer: I have been blessed to do life with many sweet and godly families, amazing families, and this is by no means a slight to them. Many have adopted my son and I as their own and God has truly been faithful to His Word of the wonderful consequence of putting trust in Jesus as Savior (Mark 10:28-30). I would not switch my lot for any other. Spending an evening with them is different than the grind of daily life, and I am sure they have problems too!
On my flight home, there was a terrible storm, and the plane ride was hit with severe turbulence. It was easily the worst I had ever experienced and came on so suddenly that it required a team effort for standing passengers to travel just a few feet back to their seats. Fear flooded me, I was shaken. There was nothing to do but tighten my seatbelt and pray. Questions screamed through my mind, and I began to contemplate life. Will I ever see my son again? Is God through with me? What about the hundreds of souls on board who have not trusted Jesus for salvation? I felt like one of the disciples in the storm with Jesus. I begged God to protect us.
He did! Thankfully, in 45 minutes’ time, the sky went from zero visibility to crystal clear. The turbulence had stopped, and I could now see for miles in every direction. The ground beneath didn’t look much different than a model set a child would build. Huge lakes, farms, and homes were reduced to novelty and even the multi-billion-dollar development and industry looked unimpressive. At that moment, all that people struggled with seemed trivial; there was nothing that could harm me.
Colossians 3:1-2 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
What had felt like a scary metal death trap was now my high refuge. No more was I plummeting towards the earth, but now was safely tucked away thousands of feet up in the air, protected from the dangers of the world. The issues I had concerned myself with were quite literally, beneath me. This high and lifted up perspective change was drastically different from the fearful place I found myself not even an hour before. Through this tangible shift in my perspective, God conveyed to me the truth of my lofty heavenly position. He longs to afford this power to all men who despair of trust in themselves and lean solely on Christ for life and salvation. I had been so concerned with the turbulence directly in front of me that I failed to implement the kingdom perspective of my Father in heaven.
Too often Christians are guilty of not realizing the great heights of their present standing. I thought about my friend’s beautiful family and how in my limited perspective their position of faith seemed like idyllic, as if there was no turbulence. I wasn’t considering the challenges and long suffering that they must have endured that paved the way to this place of beauty. I can bet that if I asked my friend to describe the journey of serving the Lord and starting a business while having 12 children, idyllic would not be in his choice of words. But that’s the beauty of having a heavenly perspective. A heavenly perspective doesn’t choose to ignore the suffering and sacrifice it takes to get to the lofty position of God’s glory. Instead, it celebrates the destination rather than focus on the turbulence. In actuality, we will never truly arrive until we join our heavenly Father, but that shouldn’t stop us from adopting a kingdom point of view in every circumstance. Have you ever heard the popular saying, “what would Jesus do?” It is a good one, but today I challenge us to contemplate another question, “what would Jesus see?”
Written by Troy Fink: Troy is a colony graduate and serves on staff at New Hope Philly www.newhopephilly.com. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. His son Troy Jr. is his best bud and together they love to eat sushi and train martial arts.
Daily Quote: “Difficulties and obstacles are God’s challenges to faith. When hindrances confront us in the path of duty, we are to recognize them as vessels for faith to fill with the fullness and all-sufficiency of Jesus.”
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”