Perspective Revisited

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. – Colossians 3:1-3

photo credit: ViaMoi via photopin cc

photo credit: ViaMoi via photopin cc

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “It’ll get better.” Probably more times than we care to remember. Usually from people who’ve barely ever even had a hangnail.

This phrase makes me cringe. Do you know why?

Because it’s a lie. It. Is. A. LIE.

Sure, sometimes things get better. You have a 50-50 chance, if you’re lucky, that things will get better.

But sometimes, things don’t get better. Sometimes they stay the same. Often, they get worse.

People die, illnesses get worse, another sickness gets added to our already-overloaded immune system, cancer recurs… the list could go on, but I think you get the point.

I’ve learned one thing that is so, so much more encouraging than these trite statements people pull out in times like these. That encouragement is that good things can be yours, even if things don’t get any better. There is still beauty to be found, even in impossible times like these.

Oh, don’t misunderstand me, you may have to look long. You will have to look hard. But the beauty is there. Sometimes under layers of grime, but it’s there.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” – Luke 11:13

This year I have chosen “Perspective” as my one word. Already I’m finding that most of the time when I’m missing the beauty, it’s because my angle is all wrong. Sometimes I just have to lean to the left, sometimes it takes a complete turn-around in my thinking, but it’s always there.

And God is ever faithful to show it to me when I look. I just love all that He is teaching me through this word, and it’s been amazing how often I recognize things now that I never would have seen before.

It really is all about perspective. Perspective right where you are, not if things get better. That’s just a waiting game, and you’ll lose every time. Instead, take a new look at what exactly where you are, and ask God to show you the beauty that’s hidden there.

Do it today.

Holy Lord, I pray that each person reading this today will be blessed to see the beauty You have just for them in this moment of ugliness. I pray that they will look, reach out, and trust. Thank You for the beauty from our ashes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…


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May God Bless You,

Shelly

19 Comments on “Perspective Revisited

  1. This is excellent!!! Yes, so true. Sometimes things don’t get better, but God has something better nonetheless. I have been suffering with a lot of back pain. And as someone was praying for me the other day, I heard that still small voice, “What if I don’t take away your pain?” The same day, a friend sent me a note and a link. The message was lean in. Bless you friend…and thanks for linking up with us at CirclesOfFaith.org!
    Elise Daly Parker recently posted…How the Tribe Writers Course Through Jeff Goins Changed My Writing LifeMy Profile

  2. Thank you, sweet Shelly, for re-focusing my perspective!
    Yes. . .there is MUCH beauty, peace and joy!

    With grateful and gentle hugs to you, dear one,
    Jennifer

    • I refocus myself at least twice a day, Jennifer! Glad you were along for the ride. 😉 Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  3. You’re right .. It doesn’t always get better in this life, but praise God that our hope is not only for the here and now. It *will* get better, for those who are in Christ — even if it means waiting for eternity.

    Here is an article I wrote called Perspective. I thought of it when I read your word for the year. Hope it is a blessing to you:

    http://ungrind.org/2012/perspective/

    Enjoy your week!

    • Exactly, Kate! It’s that eternal perspective that we need… that I need. Going over to read your article now. Thank you for sharing! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  4. Shelly, hopping over from Angie Ryg’s Inspire Me Monday. Wow. Loved your post. It is not only encouraging on a personal front but what wisdom with regards to encouraging others!

    • I’m so glad you’re joining us, Cindy! It’s a pleasure to meet you and thank you, sincerely, for the encouragement! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • I’m glad, too, Kristin! Thank you for blessing me with your comment! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  5. Shelly, this is an important conversation- one I regularly have with close Christian friends.
    I H A T E platitudes,as you will, too.
    May I share a little piece of a story?
    I was very close friends with my Pastor’s wife 20 years or so ago, and she was dying of cancer.
    On the last day I was able to see her, she received a letter from a friend, virtually saying : goodbye”.
    She asked me if the was the only person prepared to be honest with her.
    A STRONGMAN had taken charge of the house even over the Pastor and he had banned ALL TALK OF DYING.
    Of course that man could not look me in the eye at Rosemary’s funeral~!

    Since then, I have believed with strong conviction, that people who are sick need to be able to share their hearts with close friends- friends who will be honest and real and not scared of the hard topics.

    I have no idea what your prognosis is, but I deeply admire how you are able to continually bless your readers FROM THE HARD PLACE. That, my friend, is a gift from GOD.

    I remain convinced that those who suffer the most move closer to the Father’s heart than most are able to reach, and that from that place, despite the hardships- they receive JOY to keep on keeping on, and strength for the journey.

    It has been my experience that when I am in a hard place- there are only a close few friends who will let me share how I am really feeling without sending me a ton of scriptures, and telling me I must not consider a bad outcome. The thing is, what they see as a bad outcome, I see as a GOOD outcome. As Paul said: for me, to live is pain and to die is gain.

    If ever you need to share the depths of your heart in the privacy of an email, you know how to reach me.

    I feel God’s love for you deep in my heart , and know you are a precious jewel in His crown.

    Love,
    Mary,

    ps my pain has greatly reduced- so I am very thankful for the prayers of the saints. I pray for you twice daily. xx

    • Oh, Mary, I pray for you daily as well! I am SO happy to hear that your pain is reduced! I’m praising God for that right now!
      I pray that from these depths I will always be able to praise Him and show Him to others in His true form. He is faithful and loving and compassionate. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  6. Sometimes God allows us to have problems to cause us to depend upon Him. Our weakness is an asset when it brings us closer to Jesus , and helps us depend upon Him. Our place of weakness can be our place of strength! Real faith is not receiving from God what we want, but it is accepting all the beauty that He gives. Yes; it’s all about perspective, and God is faithful and loving, and we must give God thanks always and for all things! ♥ Thanks for these perfect words to me today Shelly!

    Joyful blessings sweet sister! ♥
    Denise
    Denise recently posted…Don’t Hold BackMy Profile

    • It’s such a hard thing to think of weakness as an asset when we’re surrounded by the culture of strength and self-reliance. I’m so glad you needed these words as much as I did, Denise! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  7. When my husband hand cancer, his most memorable moment occurred when a friend saw him at church between chemo and stem-cell harvesting and the first words that came out of the friend’s mouth were, “Pedro, you look horrible!” He was then deeply embarrassed, but Pedro just laughed and thanked him for being honest (Pedro really did look horrible 😉 ). As Christians, we need to be honest and avoid platitudes. If we say we’ll pray for someone, we need to do it. If we need to talk about the real stuff, we need to do it. Coming alongside each other doesn’t mean we give out pats on the head. It means we quietly listen and commiserate and LISTEN.
    Anita+Ojeda recently posted…Warning Signs and Pride-Lessons From the Grand CanyonMy Profile

    • Oh, a big Amen to everything you said, Anita! I wish more of us realized this. I loved your story about Pedro! How awesome is that?! lol It’s wonderful to meet you, Sister! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  8. I just happened by…uh huh. I know this post is the most truthful post I have read, want to say in a long time but truth is, ever! It has really brought my heart to a stop. This is not a read quickly, pass on by post. This is truth. It deserves pause and reflection. Honest conversation with my head and heart, preparation for honest conversation with my friend. Fear rises up but she deserves to be heard and I deserve to hear. I want to hear. I want to be there. I want to honestly feel whatever it is that she needs me to feel because if the shoe was on the other foot, I would be feeling a LOT and fear has no place love. Thank you. God Bless you.

  9. I love your boldness in stating that “things don’t always get better.” It’s SO true. Jesus Himself said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 We should NEVER be taken back when we are suddenly shaken by discomforts, or trials; I have discovered that they are excellent teachers and that they aid in preparing us to be a pure and spotless bride. Living without offense in our hearts and with true worship unto Him. Be blessed; hopping over from The Weekend Brew link-up party 🙂

    • Claudia, so much truth in your comment! I really love that verse. Happy Easter! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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