I read in the book of Numbers, chapters thirteen and fourteen, recently. You know, the story of how Moses sent in twelve men to spy out the land God promised them? He told them to bring back a report and fruit so they could see what they were going into.
I am always a little bit astounded at how these men gave their reports. Caleb shared of the good of the land. He accurately spoke about the size of the people and the cities, but he was ready to go in and kick butt.
Ten other men in the spy party agreed that yes, the fruit was good. But . . .
To them, the large cities were overwhelming. And the giant men who resided in that land? Forget it. These spies admitted they were as grasshoppers in their own eyes.
And that phrase is key. They approached this situation looking through their own perspective.
The audience who listened to both reports heard the fear emanating from the men’s words, their voices. Their hearts immediately questioned why God would, in my words, bring them there to abandon them, to allow them to be annihilated.
It’s amazing how quick they were to believe the worst about God and His intentions for them.
Oh, the power of words and of perspective.
Each report conveyed similar information. The people filtered it through their own understanding. They chose to embrace the doubting spies’ words rather than the strength and confidence of Caleb’s words.
This story isn’t about who was right. It’s about knowing and believing God’s promises.
And, it speaks loudly of perspective.
The Israelites believed what the fearful spies said . . . even when they admitted they were like grasshoppers in their own eyes.
Whatever happened to looking at situations through God’s eyes? Through the filter of His promises?
And how many times have I looked at, felt through, acted on a situation based on my own understanding?
As I’ve written, this summer held some serious ups and huge disappointments. As our family began to work through some things that happened, I found myself in a dark place one day.
My mind circled round and round the things going on. I saw the poor choices. Focused on the long-reaching consequences of said choices.
I wanted to believe God’s words, but my heavy heart and thoughts were stuck on the present, momentary situations. And I was sad. Discouraged. Disheartened.
But God . . .
I might have had a little fender bender on one dark, hard day. Which, of course, made everything worse.
But something happened as I began to process the accident. God revealed how He had been with me. How He had protected me. How the other person was really nice about it all, even when it had been my fault.
Somehow, being jarred from my own dark place, and talking with a trusted friend, restored a more accurate perspective.
Got my eyes pointed back on God.
And my heart re-focused on my Savior.
We have a choice about how we view and respond to circumstances in our lives.
We can perceive them through our limited viewpoint, which usually filters things through our emotions and past experiences.
Or, we can view circumstances and trials through God’s eyes. With the filter of His character and His promises.
He never promised us an easy, problem-free life. But, He has promised to walk with us through the hards, the joys, the stretching, the breaking times during our days on this side of the veil.
The question is, will we view our trials through grasshopper eyes, or through eyes that are hoping in God? Through eyes that believe He is who He says He is?
It’s not easy to set our minds on Him, but doing this is the only way that will help us navigate through the seasons of uncertainty, of trials, and of joy.
It’s our choice. Who will form your perspective?
What about you? How do you keep an accurate perspective when walking through hard seasons? When have you seen God show up in a hard season?