"The Long Eternal View"
"God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son."
Romans 8: 29
How would my viewpoint about what God is doing in my life change if I were to take heaven's "long eternal view" regarding the circumstances I face?
"You can never understand the faithfulness of God by taking the short view."
Paul S. Rees
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
Romans 8: 18
Every summer, when I was young, I was able to spend a great deal of time at my grandparents ranch in
I must admit, as a young girl, I didn't understand much about this phenomenon until one day when the neighbor at the end of the canyon, Mr. Woods, asked my dad if we would like to go with him in his pickup truck to the top of the plateau which surrounded the miles of property he and his brother owned in the canyon as well as up in the mountain country.
What an insight I gained as a young girl, looking down from what seemed like the sky, into the canyon below. The creek which once seemed so mighty it could have swept me away, looked only like a small trickle -- a thin line of water. Everything in the valley took on a different proportion from the view above, too! The cattle, grazing so peacefully near the edge of the creek, looked as if they were miniature creatures. Even the farmhouses that dotted the dirt road appeared like small dollhouses. From an elevated perch, everything looked different. I've often been struck by the thought, when I think back on our little day trip, how different our lives would look if we had the "long eternal view" as our perspective from on high like our heavenly Father does. Mother Theresa is credited with saying that from heaven, our lives here on earth will look like one night spent in a cheap motel. What an apt description.
As I think about the vigilant Uriah dying on a battlefield, facing his suffering apparently alone, my thoughts turn to others, who down through history, have confronted, with unabated courage, the unrelenting hand of suffering. The Reformation leader, Martin Luther wrote, "Our suffering is not worth the name of suffering." He further observed, "When I consider my crosses, tribulations and temptations, I shame myself almost to death, thinking what are they in comparison of the sufferings of my blessed Saviour Christ Jesus."
Not too long ago, I read a thought penned by Henry Ward Beecher, which on those days when my view of the situation in my life is blocked by the challenges of a moment, has inspired me to ask my heavenly Father to keep His "Long Eternal View" before my eyes. As Henry Beecher recognized in his own life and through his own sorrows, "God washes the eyes by tears until they can behold the invisible land where tears shall come no more." I can't wait for that day - or that land where our Father promises, "I will wipe away every tear from their eyes: and death shall be no more" (Revelation 21: 4).
As I study the life of Uriah the Hittite and reflect on the encouragement and strength his courage and principled life have infused into my own heart, I'm reminded of the poem by Oliver Goldsmith:
"As aromatic plants bestow
no spicy fragrance while they grow;
But crushed or trodden to the ground,
Diffuse their balmy sweets around."
I think of the testament of a life lived with our Father's "long eternal view." This was the way Uriah the Hittite chose to live his life.
The Weaver's Hand
"My life is but a weaving, between my God and me.
I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver's hand,
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned."
"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what you'll eat or what you'll wear…Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
Matthew 6: 25, 33, 34
"As I looked
a mist blurred
my mirror vision
my face dissolved
into a cloud of confusion
worries seized my brain
my head seemed to contain
an excessive burden
then Your words encouraged me
‘Let tomorrow's troubles come tomorrow'
the mist cleared
and I trusted
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.