By Beth Muzik
As I look back on these past few decades of my Christian walk, I’m keenly aware of an important thread: I need perspective.
I need perspective when I’m in a trial. So often, when stumbling through a dark valley, all I see in front of me is darkness. I feel the weight and burden of the trial. My fear takes over and speaks louder than my faith. I might even be in the Word, asking God to help me, yet the darkness yells loudly. This is when I need others who love Jesus. They have perspective. They’ve experienced trials before, yet they’re just enough outside of my dark valley that they have a vantage point. They have a bigger view that often sees God’s careful hand weaving His truth and grace in my life. They encourage me as they point out what they’re seeing God do in me or in others amidst the difficult. I often need someone outside of myself to highlight God’s faithfulness and His love toward me because sometimes, I just can’t see it. I need others to sew another stitch of God’s perspective.
I need perspective in relationships. Sometimes I’m viewing others through the truth of God’s love and grace, while other times, well, not so much. It gets messy with people. The thread gets tangled. I sin against others and others sin against me. Oh, how easy it is for me to focus on everything that’s awry in relationships! This is when I need my fellowship group to kindly sew into me the truth of the Gospel. I need them to share with me from God’s Word. I need their questions to help me gain a greater understanding of what I’m believing about myself and about God. I need the thread of other’s testimonies, how God took their messy relationships and brought about reconciliation or maybe how God is continuing to work in their hearts amidst these challenging relationships. I need the reminder that God is still at work in me, sewing a tapestry of grace for His honor and my good.
I need perspective from God’s people. Over the years I’ve been in various community groups filled with others who are different than me. Folks with different backgrounds, different ages, different work experiences, different educational paths, different trials, different marital status, different children, and different bents than mine have sewn God’s perspective into my life. Over and over again my friends in Christ have lovingly encouraged and exhorted me, reminding me of God’s view point revealed through His Word. Because I’m surrounded by a community of believers who know and love God’s Word, know and love Jesus, and know and love me enough to sew into me God’s perspective, the fabric of my life has been strengthened by His truth and grace.
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
As I do real life, I’m grateful for those who remind me to hold fast to my real hope; my faithful God. I’m grateful for those who stir me up to love and live, keeping me informed and strengthened by God’s Word and Gospel perspective. I’m grateful for the truth-filled courage others weave into my life, exhorting me to keep my eye on “the Day drawing near.” This thread of Biblical perspective being sewn into me, stitch by stitch, has surely been a means of God’s favor to me. Without others, my thread gets tangled all too easily.
Until “the Day”!