Friday, September 20, 2002
Our daughter has always been the most sentimental member of the family, sort of the "keeper of the family memories." A lot of those memories are associated with the two homes we lived in as our kids were growing up. Recently, our daughter had the opportunity to visit both of those houses, thanks to the hospitality of the people who live in them now. Our first home was really small - but, of course, not necessarily to our children. And since our daughter is our oldest, she has the most vivid memories of that house. It had a little porch on the front of it - which apparently didn't seem all that little to her at the time. When she returned from her visit, she said, "You know, that porch on Baywood sure looked a lot bigger to me then than it does now!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Not as Big as it Looks."
Our daughter has developed what we call "perspective" over the years. Things that once looked very big to her, now look relatively small. That's not just true of porches and houses - it's true of problems and obstacles. They look so huge at the time - and so much smaller after we've grown a little and when we look at them now. The trick is to face today's problems and challenges with a little of tomorrow's more realistic perspective - and to realize that what looks so massive now isn't, in reality, as big as it looks. We'll know that later. We need to act like that now.
The alternative is to make some major mistakes and live later with some mega-regrets. For example, look at the distorted perspective of God's ancient people in our word for today from the Word of God in Numbers 13, beginning with verse 30. Twelve scouts have just returned with their report on the Promised Land - with its rich treasures - and its scary obstacles.
Caleb says, "'We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.' But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those people: they are stronger than we are.' ... They said, 'The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size ... We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.'" They made a fatal mistake of comparing proportions - they overestimated the size of the problems and underestimated the size of their God. The people chose to go with the ten scouts who focused on how big the obstacles were - and those people never lived to see the fantastic things God had promised to them.
Maybe you're looking at some things that loom very large in front of you right now. First of all, don't make a major life choice while you're in the middle of a crisis - you'll almost surely have distorted vision and a distorted perspective. And don't make decisions based on how big things look right now - chances are they look overwhelming because you haven't been focusing on what a mighty God you serve. Rehearse the amazing things God has done for you in the past, focus on what you know about Him, ask Him to help you see what's in front of you through His eyes. And I'll tell you what will happen. Those giants will suddenly start shrinking. And remember - what's in front of you isn't forever. Like so many things in the Bible, "it came to pass."
One day, you will look back on what has been overwhelming you and you're going to say, "It looked a lot bigger to me then than it looks now." That's right. But your Lord can help you see it as He sees it, and you'll begin to see how big it really is - and how big it really isn't.