Do you have the right picture frame?
I met with my friend for breakfast. He was in serious difficulty. Local news stories accused him of dishonest business practices. A prosecutor was investigating the case. His business was down. If that wasn’t enough, he’d learned that he had a significant health concern.
We talked over eggs and bacon for some time. Actually, I mostly listened. There are times when the best help you can be is to lend a friend your ear. As we talked, he said something that has stayed with me ever since. “I remind myself,” he said, “that these difficulties are only events in my life. My life is not defined by these events that will come and go, but by the hope I have in Christ.”
Wow! If I allow events to become the “picture frame” around my life, things can seem pretty bad at times. But, if our eternal life in Christ is the picture frame that surrounds the events, it’s a very different perspective. Yes, there are events, sometimes painful. But there is something far more important and long-lasting that surrounds them all.
Paul the Apostle understood this distinction. He experienced multiple trials, imprisonments, riots, bandits, shipwrecks, and more — none of them, pleasant. Some hurtful. Eventually, some would even claim his life. But his life with Christ, although unseen—and at times difficult to see—was what really mattered more, not the events on earth
“So,” he tells us, “we do not lose heart.” The word he uses can mean to not lose motivation in doing good. That’s the distinction. Getting the perspective right doesn’t make the events that come our way easier to go through, but we continue in faith, in doing good, in preparing for “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comprehension.”
Persist! Don’t lose heart! There is going to be so much more to your story!
Father God, refresh in my heart and remind me of the big story of my life as you see it. Keep my heart at peace and secure even as the winds of events swirl around me. I want to persist in being your servant. Help me to truly understand that my life is so much larger than the events of the moment.
Throughout This Day: Rejoice often in the perfect, sinless, eternity God is preparing for you and for all who love him.
Photo Credit: Prasopchok on Unsplash