“There’s just absolutely no possible way that could not be here! I just had it in my hands. But I don’t see it anywhere!” Then I continue to paw my way through my make-up bag, or my drawer, or my stack of papers, or my clothes hanging in the closet.
This scenario usually takes place when I am hurrying or have my mind on other issues. I tend to leave a disastrous wake behind me as I dig through my possessions. Usually, when I slow my mind and paws, I will find “it” (whatever “it” happens to be at that moment) exactly where I had originally expected. In most cases, it had been turned a different direction or was a bit different in appearance than I had remembered its being. Sometimes I need to turn my head to the side to look at things from another perspective. The eye shadow might have been turned upside down so I wasn’t seeing the shiny, clear plastic lid covering the brown contents; I was seeing the black bottom. Or the important paper that I remembered as being blue, which was actually white with a blue letterhead.
At this point, I really hope my readers are relating to me in this. There is an increasingly growing possibility that my age is kicking in, but I’m fairly sure I’ve been doing this all my life. And, I’m almost as sure that you all have experienced it, as well. Regardless, please stick with me as I explain what I’ve learned through these distressing scenes.
I admit I am fairly quick to panic. I am not quite as prone to assume that all missing objects were stolen by thieves (or moved to another area by other members of the family) as some dear ones I know and love. But, I guess, I often find myself jumping to a sense of permanent loss or temporary insanity at those confusing moments. One lesson I have learned, as I know many of you have learned, is the power of prayer at those panicky moments. It is sad to admit that I often rummage through much too long in my hunt before I ask for God’s help. I am quick to ask those around me at the time if they have seen “it,” but I tend to be rather slow in asking for Divine help. I’m getting better, though, as I grow older. That’s lesson number one. We’re getting there with that one, with plenty of room for improvement left!
The second lesson I’m slowly learning is that quite often it’s my perspective that is the problem. And it’s a problem with my expectations! Things weren’t exactly the way I thought they would be. Once I adjusted my thinking to other possibilities, I could see things much differently. I realized that the eye shadow was, indeed, right there, but that it was in a different colored package than I was anticipating. I was looking for the clear plastic lid rather than the opaque black bottom. But it was there! The important paper I was looking for in the stack (for the umpteenth time!), was the third paper in the stack, but I had missed seeing it as I fretfully picked up too many papers at once looking for that “blue” paper rather than the white page with the blue letterhead.
I believe by this time most of you have figured out where I’m headed. How often is life like this? We have been trusting in the goodness of God in our lives with preconceived notions of how things were going to be. And then it turns out completely unexpectedly! Our dreams dissolve and our hearts start to fret and, often, mourn the situation. We can see no good outcome. We cannot see the blessings. We sometimes even begin to doubt God. We don’t understand. We start to believe everything is lost, our dreams, our hopes, our expectations. It’s all wrong. It’s all a total loss.
But, hang on a minute! Have you ever looked back on those situations and seen that He had a design in mind? A bigger picture He was painting? Once we have a panoramic view of it all, we find the blessings. We understand why it was all necessary. There are some situations which we will never see completely until we view it from the easel of eternity. In those times, we must look through the eyes of faith. We claim the promises of God’s Word which have proven true over thousands of years. And we know that His design is perfect. We must turn our hearts and eyes to view it from His perspective. Then we will find the blessings we had anticipated. They were right there all along. It was just in how we looked at it!