I am 25 and I must admit, my journey of learning about God is something that is probably of introductory level compared to some and at the same time, I’m sure that some of the things I am finding out about God, others would consider mind-blowing. Lately, I have really started to get a revelation of God having a big picture for our lives.
I guess as a teenager and in my early twenties, this was something that I never understood or grasped. When I think back to times in life where I have found myself angry at God or questioning His intentions over a broken relationship, a broken heart or just the pains of growing up, it was with a total lack of understanding of the bigger picture God had for my life. Looking back at those situations now, with a ‘big-picture-perspective’, you realize you are so blind and so selfish — Not once did I look at these situations knowing our gracious God had a crystal clear big picture for my life. I would look at the now and whine — but God has every intention of using those situations for good – to shape you, grow you and to turn into good soil. It’s crazy looking at the situation through ‘big picture eyes’ and see how your perspective has changed as drastically as black is from white. I must admit, it’s not like I have found a way to see into the future — It’s more knowing this situation, this emotion I feel in the now of a hard time – which seems to have no end – when zoomed out and put in a big picture, has every intention of good. Romans 8:28 (The Message) says: “That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.“ When you learn to TRUST God’s word you actually start to always look at the big picture.
When my Dad died suddenly on a beach having a surf a year and a half ago — there was no indication on that day that I was going to lose my dad — there was no warning sign to let me know. I got a call finding out what had happened and there was no way in that moment to see tomorrow — I was completely blinded in the NOW of the situation, covered with grief — I couldn’t see that this situation was going to be worked into something for good — I even remember asking the question to people close to me “how do you get through this?” — But that’s when you are forced to TRUST God and stand on scripture (such as Romans 8:28) and believe that there is a bigger picture —
Two months prior to losing my dad — my dad and I were catching up over lunch. He told me how a few days before, whilst having his daily surf, he was paddling out through the waves and noticed a body lying lifeless in the water. Acting quickly, my dad (who was previously a life guard) pulled the guy on his board and paddled towards the shore while flagging his mates that something wasn’t right. Once they got him to the shore, an ambulance was called — my dad told me how the man was blue and wasn’t breathing when the paramedics arrived — the guy left in the ambulance with my dad having no idea of whether the guy survived. He called the local hospital the next day to find out that the man had miraculously survived but didn’t seek to meet him. 2 months later, my dad passed away in almost the same scenario as the man that survived. My dad was completely in love with Jesus and I’m so thankful for that and so his funeral was more of a celebration – we actually had a church service and thanked God for his life and that he’s now in heaven. During the service, my uncle told the story of my dad saving the guy only a few weeks before and after the service a man crying uncontrollably walked up to my uncle almost unable to talk — he told my uncle that he was the man that my dad saved in the surf and he was so taken over with emotion explaining that this should have been him and he didn’t know why he got to live when my dad didn’t. I have no idea how that man found out about my dad or where that’s mans heart was spiritually and I have no idea if he knows Jesus now today — but all I know is that my God has a bigger picture! Yes, I may have seen my dad go to heaven earlier than I expected — but when looking at this story with a bigger picture view, I believe that the service for my dad (which was so covered in Jesus’ grace) would have made an impact on this mans life — and I choose to believe that the loss of my dad in the light of God’s big picture was in order to pave a way for this mans salvation.
I pray that if you are in a valley or a hard time in life — stand on God’s word — ask for a revelation of His big picture and choose to trust and stand on it — zoom out and view this situation with a different perspective, because “…we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”