When ThingTwo was three years old, she sneaked off into the kitchen and started nibbling on a Cadbury egg while I was nursing her baby brother. When I discovered her chocolatey little face savoring every messy bite, I explained that she should have asked before eating the candy. As I pried the remaining half out of her sticky fingers, she burst into tears and wailed, “You are ruining my life!”
Perspective. Three-year-old ThingTwo definitely lacked perspective. I may have ruined that moment and her plans to enjoy a stolen sweet treat, but I hadn’t even ruined her entire day or week, let alone her life.
But sometimes it seems that way, doesn’t it? Even to those of us who aren’t three any more. One little thing goes wrong -we break our favorite mug or interact with a difficult person or get in line behind the person who needs a price-check at the store- and in exasperation we say our entire day is a mess. Then, if you’re like me, a rotten mood and grouchy attitude ensure the rest of the day does turn into a mess.
Or maybe, more seriously, we really are in the midst of an ongoing crisis. A family member is sick or dying; a job is lost; a child is rebellious; a house is about to go into foreclosure; a doctor calls with bad news. A punch in the gut. We gasp. We weep. Our souls wilt. Our hearts wail, “My life is ruined!”
Perspective. I believe God wants to give us perspective. Our day may seem ruined. Our week may turn out to be a mess. All of the foreseeable future may seem pretty bleak. But that’s because we are myopic. Short-sighted. Often, we view our lives with a temporal perspective. God wants to give us an eternal perspective.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Do not lose heart. God wants to renew you day by day. Your life is not ruined. Your momentary troubles are achieving for you an eternal glory.