Your Problem May Seem Smaller than It Appears

“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.” -Unknown

I had a revelation one day while driving to work. I looked over at my passenger mirror and it read “Objects may be larger than they appear.” How often do we look at our situation and think that it’s huge? In 1 Peter 5, the apostle wrote about the worries of the saints being cast upon the Lord. In verses 6-8 we are instructed to “humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Whenever a situation arises that I find overwhelming or too big for me to handle, I look around for the lion. I imagine him “like” a roaring lion. The vision I have for him is a large, overgrown, fat cat with no teeth and a blow horn. “You mean, you don’t fear him? You mean, you’re not afraid of him?” Let me answer this in an easy way.

In the book of Isaiah 14, the prophet Isaiah tore the devil apart with prophesy of what God will do to avenge His people. In verse 16, we read “Everyone there will stare at you and ask, ‘Can this be the one who shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble?” I don’t worry about him because we will look upon him and realize how “big” he really is. Our God is far bigger in comparison to the enemy. Friend, your perspective of the problem will weigh how big you believe that your God is to handle it. There’s an old saying that when your problems tell you how big they are, remind them how big your God is. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus was speaking to the disciples about salvation but it also includes everything in life. Jesus said “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” God is so big that everything is possible.

It is easy to look at the problem that you and I are facing but when we realize that our God is bigger than the problem, we relinquish the power to be in fear. I received this quote while I was working on this chapter that reads “You must realize, that fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do no misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.” Fear is a choice that you and I make when we arrive at a situation or problem. I have a way to remind me the truth about fear that I use often. Fear is truthfully “forgetting everything about reality.” Fear reveals an emotion that often is a lie. You and I both know that the situation isn’t going to be the end of us.

As you and I navigate this life, we are often found guilty of having our noses down because our problems weigh us down. We tend to look at the negative and at the glass as half-empty. Our problems are often smaller that they really are. When we see that there are starving people in third world countries, we are less likely to complain about the wait at a restaurant. When we hear of the unemployment lines, we are likely to embrace our jobs with more enthusiasm. When we witness the injustices of people who can’t get a broken arm fixed, we are less likely to complain about the headache that we have. And the list goes on and on. Recently, I came across this letter online (netjeff.com) to help you and me to get a bit of a better understanding;

Dear Mom and Dad,

It has now been three months since I left for college. I am sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date but before you read on you had better sit down. Okay? I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and concussion I got when I jumped out of my apartment window when it caught fire after my arrival here is pretty well healed. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get these sick headaches once a day.

Fortunately the fire and my jump were witnessed by Roger an attendant at the gas station, and he was the one who called the fire department. He also visited me in the hospital, and since I had nowhere to live he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. He is a very fine man, and we are planning to get married. We haven’t set the date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show. His divorce is final now, and he shares custody of his 3 children. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that Roger has a minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood tests, and I carelessly caught it from him. This will soon clear up with the penicillin injections I am taking daily.

Now that I have brought you up to date I want to tell you that there was no fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I do not have syphilis, and there is no divorced man in my life. However, I am getting a “D” in Art and an “F” in Biology and I wanted you to see these marks in the proper perspective.

Your loving daughter,

Jane

If you or I received this letter from our child, the failing grade would be a relief. However, if we only got the call that they were failing, we would be upset and find it unacceptable. What changed in this scenario to help make the parents see things in a different perspective? If we take a moment and look at the situation from afar, it doesn’t seem all that bad. It actually may be so minuet that we miss the point. However, when we are right in the middle of it, the situation seems so impossible to get out.

To us, it would seem like rocket science to look into the cockpit of a plane. The dashboard would intimidate us with all the gears and buttons. More importantly, we would have a hard time being able to navigate with the gauges. To a pilot, it is second nature. He sees the temperature gauge that tells him how hot or cold the engines are, the altitude to know how far from the ground he is, and the fuel gauge to know how much fuel would be left to fly the plane. However, there is a little known gauge that you and I may not be familiar with but it is critical to the operation of the plane and that is the altitude indicator. The attitude indicator reads how the plane is flying and what position that it is in. If the plane’s attitude is sinking, it is considered “nose-down” and if it’s rising, the plane’s attitude is “nose-up.” If the nose is down, the plane is destined to crash. There is no denying that it is heading down because the gauge shows that it is sinking. The only thing to do is to change course and pull the plane up to the desired destination.

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