The View from the Top

The View from the Top

Perspective matters. You know that. A good leader regularly reminds herself and those she leads of the bigger picture, especially during times of crisis. Having a view from the top changes everything.

When your toddler was afraid they would run into your arms. The barking dog, the skinned knee, the monsters under the bed suddenly looked very different. When you lifted them up their emotions were calmed, booboos were all better, and peace returned to their little soul.

It’s the same when you run into the arms of your heavenly Father. That’s your place of safety, healing, transformation – and perspective. When you’re lifted in His arms what seemed impossible now seems small. The truly important things you couldn’t see before now come into focus.

Here are three aspects of a view from the top that you gain from running into God’s presence.

  1. Previous Battles Won

You’ve survived 100% of your worst days. God’s presence has seen you through tough times before. Can you see how He was with you even when you couldn’t perceive Him? You’ve not only survived; you’ve grown. There are things you’ve learned about yourself and about God, opportunities you’ve experienced, skills you’ve developed that could only have come through refusing to give up when things seemed impossible.

As a human being you’ve been through difficult things before. So has your family, your church, your country, the human race. And whatever you’re in right now, you can get through this too.

Look back and notice what helped you when going through tough stuff in the past. What mindset was helpful? What spiritual/emotional nourishment strengthened you? How did you steward your energy, or exercise appropriate self-care? Did you ask for help? What helped you hear God’s voice? What did He say to you? How did He show up? And how can your past experience inform how you proceed now?

While your present crisis may be greater that what you’ve been through before, the substance developed in your soul in past battles has helped prepare you for where you are now. Small skirmishes prepare you for greater challenges. And they tell you that you can make it.

  1. What Does This Make Possible?

Many individuals and organizations are seeing the current COVID-19 pandemic as a stimulus to make changes they know they should have made a long time ago. When things are calm it’s easy to fall into patterns that limit your personal or organizational growth.

Some people crumple in a crisis. The very same crisis brings out the best in others. It may be hard to distinguish the fake from the real when times are easy; pressure makes the real diamond shine through. This season provides a perfect opportunity for true leadership, innovation, and resilience.

In addition, could God be walking you through this now to prepare you for an even greater role in the future? What about your present crisis might be a training ground for greater usefulness next time? How you handle things today could well decide what impact God will allow you to have tomorrow.

None of us do that perfectly. There have been days when the disruption of this pandemic has left me listless or disoriented, just like you. But I regroup, get up the next day, use the skills I’ve developed in the past, and focus again on whatever I do know about why God has me here right now. This does not eliminate the stress; it helps put it in perspective.

You can do the same. Acknowledge the disruption you feel, and then move forward. What is the last thing God told you to do? Keep doing that. It will make a difference.

  1. Keep Eternity in Mind

What story are you telling yourself? Where are you right now in that story? How big is that story? You might be telling yourself:

  • This is a small interruption, and things will soon get back to normal.
  • This is a welcome reset. I’m glad I’ve had to slow down. or
  • It’s horrible! I’m not sure I’ll make it.

If you’re telling yourself one of those stories, it’s not big enough. Perhaps your story even includes the wider impact on economies, food supply, government restructuring, etc. But that’s still not a big enough story.

God is not about getting us back to “normal.” The story is not “all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4) Our world is rushing toward a climax. We know we’re near the end of the story. How near the end we can’t be certain, but it’s very near.

And the end of the story is, Jesus wins! God will never be content for things to get back to “normal,” at least as we may think of it. He won’t be content until everything is made right. No more pandemics. No more tears, or death, or sorrow, or evil. (Revelation 21:4) All will be made new.

Only by keeping that eternal end in mind will you and I have the strength and courage to make it. Jesus had to remember “the joy set before him,” keeping eternity in mind. (Hebrews 12:2) You and I will have to do the same.

What Do You Want?

So the question is, what do you really want? Jesus often asked those who came to Him, “What do you want?” Could He be asking that of you today?

Do you want things to get back to “normal?” I hope not.

Could Jesus be asking you, “What do you want? Do you want me to come back?”

I hope you truly want the end to come. I hope your heart-cry is, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

Your Turn: Where does your perspective need to be stretched? Can any of these perspectives change things for you? Do you really want Jesus to return? Leave a comment below.

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