I was busy working on a project when I got a call one morning that a good friend was in the hospital. At the time, I knew no details, but my heart raced and I immediately prayed. Until I heard back from his wife, I was consumed with concern. I can’t even remember what I was working on…somehow, it doesn’t really matter now.
Circumstances have a way of providing perspective that may have otherwise been missing, sometimes positive or sometimes negative.
“I’m really down about losing the championship.” Then the coach resigns for health reasons.
“I don’t think it’s fair that I haven’t gotten a raise in two years.” Then the company his wife works for closed their doors for good.
“I’m bummed that my budget won’t allow me to eat out again this week.” Then a friend asks for $58 so he can get his electricity turned back on.
“I’m so angry with my husband for not doing the dishes.” Then her friend calls because his wife has been in a car accident and might not make it.
“I wish my mom wasn’t so controlling.” Then she hears that her friend’s dad died during the night.
When I am down, I ask myself these questions to help me gain perspective: “Will this really matter next week? Next month? Next year? Five years from now? Ten years from now? In eternity?” Eventually, if I can push back far enough from my circumstances, I can see the situation more clearly, and it is less likely to negatively affect my emotions. And the same perspective that helps me combat strife helps me ward away pride. If I can gain God’s perspective, I can face anything.
My friend is fine. I’m thankful for that, but I’m also thankful for situations that bring perspective into my life. I’m also grateful that God has an eternal perspective. He sees and knows it all…and loves us anyway.