In every new phase of life, we have an opportunity to see God’s work in the world through a different lens. We this with our own family. CJ just has this matter-of-fact faith when it comes to God, she’s 7. AJ & BJ (10 & 11) are starting to understand what it means to have a relationship with God in a very active sense, understanding the challenging of being in a world that doesn’t always embrace the concept. Tati, our 15-ear-old, is right at the point of life where many people set their course in terms of their relationship to God. It’s really interesting to see how each of these phases gives more perspective to what it means to know God. Traci and I can see those changes in our kids, but can also recognize the changes in our lives. When we got married, we both began to understand, experientially, not just intellectually, what it means to choose to love someone when you don’t feel like it. It’s not that we have massive fights or disagreements, but when two people merge their lives, there is tension. That tension sometimes leads to real frustration but at the end of the day, we have chosen to love each other regardless.
Then we had kids. You begin to really understand God’s love for people when you have your own children. We’d do anything to protect our kids, to save them and to give them the very best. We’d sacrifice our own lives if it meant saving our kids. And we try to always do what’s best for them, even when they don’t understand what or why.
I wonder how often I’ve questioned God’s work because I didn’t understand what He was doing? (More often than I care to admit!) And just like I shake my head at my own children when they resist something that is for their good, but not of their choosing, God must shake His head when we do the same to Him.
A few years ago I was on a plane getting ready to land in Chicago. As I looked out the window, I had an incredible view and saw the whole city below me. I realized this is God’s perspective on my life. I’m in the city, caught up in traffic, trying to get from one end of town to the other. I’m frustrated by the traffic, I’m irritated by the pedestrians that walk slowly across the street and I’m in awe at the tall towers that block my view and distracted by the smells of food that call out to me from each food cart we pass.
But God sees all of that at once. He sees the start and end of my journey at the same time. My frustration in the middle of the journey is primarily based on my lack of perspective. I don’t see what God sees -- I can’t see what God sees -- so I get irritated, frustrated and angry. God sees it all, and He knows that if I’ll trust Him on the journey, He will guide me to the precise destination He intends. Even my “wrong turns” and crazy middle-of-the-street U-ies work out in His plan. I just have to trust.
Living Overboard isn’t about knowing the answers. It’s about know The Answer and trusting His lead. God doesn’t want me to check my brain at the door, but nor does He want me to trust in my own understanding and ideas alone. He has the full perspective. He sees it all. I’ve gotta move forward one day at time, while trusting Him with each moment.
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is better on the water!