August 15, 2014
Take a Step Back
I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes (Psalm 119:59).
Friend to Friend
I gave her instructions for the job. “Clear the furniture from the room, vacuum thoroughly, and then I will show you how to mop the wood floor.” Once my daughter got through the first two of three steps, I joined the cleaning party to teach the age-old-mom-class, "Mopping 101."
Class began with a few mopping fundamentals. “Shake the bottle of the polish before you use it. Do one small section at a time. Mop along the grain of the wood. Put some muscle into it and always - always take a step back to see if you missed any spots.” I gave a quick demonstration then Kennedy took the mop and got busy on her weekend wood-floor polishing project.
As I walked away, it hit me.
In order to see where the polish had been applied on the floor - in order to see if there were any mistakes or overlooked places - a mopper needs to step back and look at things from a different angle. From a fresh perspective.
To gain perspective in life, we often need to step back too: away from our emotions, our plans and our expectations - in order to consider the big picture. The God-picture.
It is so easy to get lost in the drama-filled challenges of life and become overwhelmed by our circumstances. Can I hear an Amen? I do this all the time! I get sucked into the drama of a moment and see only what my emotions allow me to see: a dim, slim and flesh-led view.
Let's be honest, we all have some level of drama and expectations. And that’s not a bad thing. But when our emotions lead our responses, it can be difficult to see beyond our moments and mountains. When our hearts are consumed by the emotions of a moment, we can lose sight of what honors God and what really matters.
So what's a woman to do?
Take a step back. Pray. Ask God for vision and perspective. Consider His Word. Remember His power, provision, and plan. Move beyond self-led reactions to Spirit-led responses. The late pastor and theologian A.W. Tozer wrote, "Sometimes when we get overwhelmed we forget how big God is."
Our perspectives change in God’s presence. We gain clarity and peace when we adapt God's perspective instead of our own. His sight is pure, full of grace and eternal – while our sight is often imperfect, narrow and worried about the now. Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans."
David stepped back in awe of God’s love. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
He reflected on his own ways verses God’s ways. “I meditate on your precept and consider your ways.” (Psalm 119:15) “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” (Psalm 119:59)
Jesus also encourages us to step back from worries and fears. ““Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:24-26) When we consider the ways that God has provided in the past, it helps us to trust Him in the present.
Kennedy rocked the mop that day in our kitchen because she heeded my directions and consistently drew back to gain perspective on her polishing. Step back today and position yourself in His grace. Consider the big picture. Lay your day, your plans, your thankfulness, your people, your problems, your wins and your losses before God. Trust His ability to work in and through it all. Relish the perspective and peace that rises and then be prepared for those around you to be drawn to the able, faithful God who is at work within you.
Dear Lord, I know I need to step away from my emotions, expectations, and plans. I want Your perspective and to respond in ways that please You. Please cover me again with grace, order my steps, and equip me fresh with Your Spirit.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Now it’s Your Turn
Are you ready to step back? What will that look like for you? Click over to my blogor my Facebook pagetoday and respond with a ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY! Then have fun encouraging each other in the comments section.
More from the Girlfriends
Ready for a fresh faith adventure? Knowing God by Name by GiG co-founders Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, and free on-line video intros, this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Friday, 15 August 2014.