It was a day that was self-defeating, the words entering my mind contradicted the belief I knew, but how could I stop it? I really was frustrated with God. Even after having an amazing journey to Israel, I felt as though I had been moved from one physical wilderness into another; a place where nothing in moving forward in ministry was seeming to grow. I felt like this was a picture I had stared at too long. King David knew how to exclaim it!
Long enough, God — you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies [and those who have made their ministries great] have looked down their noses at me. Take a look at me God, my God; I want to look life in the eye, so no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face. — Psalm 13:1-4 (MSG)
Chances are we’ve all had moments when we’ve grown frustrated and angry at God. My frustration, our frustration with God might just have to do where we are looking at the time and this Got Questions article states it just might be because of our own stubbornness. The picture of ourselves does not line up with the picture before us. I am not one to do many selfie pictures, yet I am one to dwell on my own little world from time to time. In those moments when we take these self-images, we are the happiest on the outside and often they are to record or remember a challenge overcome (like a marathon, or weight loss) or they are to post the latest new style of hair, clothes, etc. for our friends across the world to admire. We really do think the world revolves around us providing a distorted view of us. God’s perspective is much greater than the moment. His view for me is greater than the last three ministry job rejections, but I could not help but hold the pictures of those moments as my picture of eternity. You see, our frustration and anger are based on a limited view of life. We lack the perspective of the bigger picture — and God holds that close to His heart— stepping back to view ourselves as God sees us is the first step in seeing us as valued, accepted, new and transformed. An article on Desiring God captures the essence of what God thinks about you.
Joshua 7:7 it recounts the utter defeat of Joshua and the people of Israel to conquer the land of Ai that God had given them. Why, well sin kept them from the award — this time, but Joshua’s defeat was only temporary. Once he got the people of Israel back in line with God’s view for them in the land, they conquered it! And David’s trials were preparing him for greatness. God often uses challenges to make us strong, to develop the image of Jesus the Messiah upon our lives — faith in the Father’s promised-plan.
And faith is all Martha needed in knowing her brother Lazarus would rise again for she was about to witness the resurrection power of God. “Master, If you had only been here,” are the first words she uttered to Jesus. If you were around, this picture of my life would not be where it is at right now. If you were present, then we would not have had to go through grief and loss. If you loved him (me) you would not have waited, you would have come and snapped your fingers and all would have been restored. The selfies that Martha could have taken on that moment would not have included the greatest miracle. She did not know the full picture of what Jesus could do. In the barren-ness of life, He provides a stream of water to drink and be filled.When you give God the benefit of the doubt, you'll never be disappointed. Click To Tweet
I need to be reminded when I spiral into those selfie moments that God is always for us. The circumstances we face are ultimately good for us, we need to hold out for the big [even bigger] picture. The selfie takes the focus off of Jesus and His work in our lives and onto our own [often selfish] good works. When this happens, we don’t allow the greater-ness of God to take over and lead us to places we would never have imagined. When you give God the benefit of the doubt, you’ll never be disappointed. And if you’re like me and need reminding of who you are in Christ, check out these 20 Encouraging Bible Verses about our identity in Christ.