It might as well have been apples and oranges, black and white, or snowflakes and rain. Our views were quite different.
Mine had the expanse of an Oklahoma sky, clad in medium blue, as it met the hills and trees on the horizon. The clouds, every single one of them, had rushed to another location, honoring the beckon elsewhere for rain or shade. There were no clouds in sight, only wide-open blue sky.
Black cattle meandered on the rolling plain, the green of its range teasing and filling their taste buds. The tall grasses of the pasture in front of me held no control over this view. Their influence wasn’t tall enough. Larger than dots on the horizon, the cattle, adults and calves alike, barely moved as they grazed. They were visible because I could see over the pasture grasses. The view was peaceful, but she couldn’t see it.
Tall pasture grasses and a fence, which enclosed her freedom to roam, obstructed her view. She was clueless concerning the beauty on the horizon, but she didn’t seem to care. She was, after all, just a dog.
I know it might sound silly, but I noticed this one day while hanging out in the back yard with our dog. Don’t ask me why I crouched down by the fence, the Beagle/Jack Russell mix nearby, but I did. It was then that I realized how vastly different her view is from mine. The cattle across the pasture nor the beauty Oklahoma’s horizon held weren’t in her view, even though they were close.
Our walk with God is similar. We can see, but it’s only so far. His view is greater, higher, overflowing with milk and honey. We’re like the dog, and he the Master. Our view overflows with tall grasses, a fence, and possibly a bug or two. His view flows all the way to the horizon and beyond.
I’ll take God’s view any day.
So then why don’t I always trust it? It sounds good but my own strong will detours somewhere along the path. Perhaps I don’t “take it” after all.
Maybe you can relate?
God sets something in front of us and stamps it “Promised Land.” Like the Israelites in Numbers 13 & 14, we believe God at first.
Oh, God I believe there are cattle on the other side of this grass. There’s a horizon holding beauty, too. I believe you. Lead me to it.
Sometimes we even walk into the land and devour a sampling of its goods. But then we begin questioning.
Did he really say…? God, maybe I didn’t hear you after all. It seems okay, but….
So much for that Promised Land.
The grumbling begins.
Our finger wiggles into a wag as blame builds. Our focus has been shifted from the promise to defeat.
Why do we have to be here? It’s your fault for bringing us here. It was nice, but… We wouldn’t experience these struggles, if it weren’t for your decision to move us here.
Does this sound ugly? It’s been a battle in my reality, and I don’t think I’m the only unintentional Israelite out there. Truth be told, many of us have struggled to believe and trust God with life’s view. It’s okay for others, but when the nitty meets the gritty, we have second thoughts.
Our move to Oklahoma came suddenly and with a bit of shock, but it wasn’t without much prayer and peace that it was God’s will.
We’re barely into the second year, and I can certainly say the first year had its rough patches. However, being in Oklahoma is God’s will for our family.
The tune changes a bit when the children struggle. It’s hard watching them wriggle their way through the move and its ensuing changes. I start to question our decision.
Why are we here? Did we really hear God? Why were we uprooted from “home” in North Carolina to make a new home? What about the kids? They’re cracking. Are they going to make it? Maybe we should just go back…
Does this sound familiar? It’s the modern version of Numbers 13 and 14. If you haven’t read those chapters, I encourage you to do so. Oddly, it’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I think it’s because of the hope displayed in Caleb and Joshua.
When the kids hit a rough patch, the non-believing, mumbling, grumbling, complaining, stone-throwing Israelite in me bubbles to the surface.
I know…it’s ugly.
But the ugliness is real and must be dealt with if the journey toward the Promised Land is to continue.
I believe some of you can relate. If you and I are going to mature, to walk deeper with God, a view change is necessary, lest we become desert wanderers.
With a view change, we can be a Caleb or Joshua.
Are you ready?
Come with me as we approach the altar, setting our thoughts and will at God Almighty’s throne. It’s time for a sacrifice.
Stay tuned for part 2 as we delve into changing our view. We’re not dogs, after all. God has a bigger, wider reality in store.
Check back on Tuesday, sign up for emails delivered right to your inbasket (upper right hand portion of the website), tell a friend…whatever you need to do, join me in this journey. Maturity and a glorious God await.
“How to change our view” is next. See you Tuesday!
Final note: Your help please.
This journey in writing is a God thing. When words are clicked on the computer, some have more “umph” than others. I can “feel” it, for lack of a better descriptor. Those with umph have a more flavor of God and his strength in them. This link is one of those writings. I’ve entered it in a contest and would love your vote here if you so desire to give it. Voting ends at the end of May. Thank you for considering it, friends.
Linking with these Jesus-loving writers and others at: Intenionally Pursuing, Purposeful Faith, Holly Barrett, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Holley Gerth, Suzie Eller, Susan B. Mead, and Count Your Blessings.