A few years ago, my team at work was struggling to work together well. Some things were falling through the cracks and we were dropping the ball on things that we couldn’t afford to mess up. So my boss called us all together and asked some interesting questions: what did we want to do? What were we passionate about?
On a whiteboard, she drew a bullseye and, within it, wrote everything that our department was responsible for. Then, one by one, we each went up and wrote our names next to the thing we felt passionate about. When it came to me, I wrote my name up at the top corner: I wasn’t passionate about any one of those things, I wanted to see how the whole process worked together.
While I tend to excel at seeing the big picture in business, it’s so easy for me to retreat back to a myopic perspective in my own life. When I’m seeking the Lord intentionally and consistently, I can see the big-picture plan for my life clearly laid out before me, but when I get focused on everything but him, my attention steadily narrows.
Does this ever happen to you?
Nehemiah and his crew were facing a truly frightening set of circumstances. They were going to be attacked by these people who were larger, better funded, and all around more equipped to win this rumble. I don’t know about you, but up against those odds, I might’ve been tempted to throw in the towel. But Nehemiah was a good leader who trusted the Lord, he was going to persist.
“And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”” Nehemiah 4:14 (ESV)
The Bible is filled with commands to not be afraid, but this message is never delivered with condemnation or shame. Nehemiah didn’t go on and on about how dumb the people were for not trusting in God. He didn’t mock them for being fearful of this threat. He didn’t call them wimps for thinking about abandoning ship. He simply spoke truth to them and widened their perspectives.
Who is the Lord?
I wrote His Story because I believe that everything begins with the character of God.
If I believe God is good, I can trust his motives.
If I believe God is truth, I can trust what he says.
If I believe God is love, then I can come to him when I screw up.
Who do you believe God is? What do your actions say you believe about God?
When I return to my myopic, scarcity mindset, God doesn’t yell at me or put me in a timeout corner. Instead, he draws me back to himself. He didn’t create you or me to live in a place where we can’t see the bigger picture. He wants to expand our focus so that we’re able to see him in all his glory. When we’re able to look up out of our situations we’re able to see how we fit into his grander picture.
What is your why?
Nehemiah reminded the people why they were doing what they were doing. They weren’t rebuilding the wall for kicks and giggles but for their legacy. They were building something that would protect them and their family for years to come. They weren’t doing all this hard work for themselves, but for those who would come after them. This was a God-mission they had been cordially invited to participate in.
Any time I get too in the weeds, the Lord reminds me of what he’s called me to and who he’s called me to be. He reminds me of the people who need encouraging, systems that need changing, and the world that is desperately hurting. And, when I have that perspective, I can’t help but fully dive into that bigger picture he offers.
I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord today and ask him to adjust your perspective if needed. Then sit in silence and stillness and let him assuage your fears, remind you of who he is, and reinstate your why.
Do you struggle to maintain a bigger perspective? Why do you think that is?
How do you remind yourself who the Lord is and what he’s called you to do daily?
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