Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bird's Eye View

I have no idea why I am constantly surprised by God's display of His infinite knowledge in my life. So many times, He wows me and I am slack-jawed, shaking my head as if to take it right off its axis. He's perfect. He's Sovereign. He loves BIG and perfectly. And, of course, being human, I forget that and then, He wows me. Hence, the bird's eye view. The dictionary defines it something along this line: A view from high over head, as if from a bird's perspective. To see something in its entirety from above. Isn't that just how God is?

If our lives were compared to a photograph, we would see but a few pixels at a time. A few specks of blurred color, seemingly offering ZERO significance. Sure, we may see some small effects to our causes, in life, but truly we have no idea how each detail of our life is multiplied to affect so many other areas in our own lives and in the lives of others. The role they play in the now and the FOREVER.

Oh, but God, in His amazingly awesome perfection, can see the minute detail of the pixel and the full beauty of the entire picture.

Case in point: my most recent project. A custom, requested by a sweet lady I've gotten to know online. I won't begin to explain the many, many details of His assured presence, but trust me when I say, He was with me. And for that, I'm grateful. One simple example is the title. As I prayed for wisdom and creative direction, before I had an inkling of what the painting would be, the name of the painting came: "Bird's Eye View." .

Anyway, this online friend of mine, wanted to bless a family they had befriended years ago (her husband and this gentleman served together in the military). They were expecting about the same time, but this family had a heart-breaking loss of their little, sweet gift after just 36 days of life on earth. The request was simple, a "star" theme and then she gave me the backstory.

Here's a condensed version:
It was a perfect pregnancy. Baby and momma did great. But, the night she went into labor, baby's heart rate dropped and an emergency c-section was performed. He went several minutes without oxygen. One night, his momma and daddy held him close on the lawn of the children's hospital. There, God gave them a beautiful display of His majesty--Shooting stars, and apparently, a good amount of them. Just a few short hours later, he was gone. His momma later wrote that they find comfort every time they see one, because it reminds them of their sweet boy.

As I do with all my paintings (and Lord make me quit the day I don't do this), I prayed for the family. Then, I began to read up on the scientific information on shooting stars. Shooting stars, aren't stars at all. They are dust/debris entering earth's atmosphere. When this occurs, they change in physical/chemical composition and they literally burn away before having the opportunity to meet earth's crust. You know, because if they didn't, we wouldn't survive. :)

When I read this, and its significance sunk in, I lost it. I mean, I started aching so deeply that I overflowed with tears. It was such a beautiful combination of identifying ever so slightly with their grief and an even smaller understanding of God's goodness.

The thing that stuck with this family was an insignificant, lifeless piece of dust; a piece of material that NO ONE on earth EVER would have known of, if it hadn't been obliterated as it entered into our atmosphere.

Cosmic dust has been burning to a crisp, and capturing the eyeballs and hearts of human beings since the beginning of time. Thing is, it had to be utterly destroyed to display its beauty and achieve its purpose. And a whole bunch fiery destruction happened that night.  A blessing to this family, on the day their precious son went to meet Him; a beautiful reminder of His Sovereignty- His perfect control over the ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

It was as if the Heavens opened up and GOD said, "I am here. I'm with you. Just as it takes an incredible amount of pressure/heat/change to convert this dust to beauty, so I desire to offer you love and make beautiful things out of this event that is crushing you, today and the days to come."

If He could take a seriously insignificant piece of dust and  make it gloriously beautiful, how much more does He have for you and me?  If He does something so monumental through something that literally means nothing in the big scheme, how much more involved is He longing to be in our every day? He wants to do His Big Things through us.

He. Is. Present. In our mundane. In our joys. And, very much in our hardships. He is with us. We may not see it. We may be looking at a few mere "pixels," but He simultaneously sees our pixels and the WHOLE Shebang! He gets it and His word says, He wants His best for us.

Dust can't fall from the universe without majestic display. Sparrows don't fall without His knowledge. Every hair on your head is accounted for by Him. And every single star in the sky strategically placed by the hand of the Artist.

I can't imagine their grief and I am not attempting to offer empty words when I say, "God knows what is best." Because He isn't offering that kind of consolation. He mourns every tear that momma and daddy have shed and will ever shed. He is present with them and He is present with each of us in our suffering. Just as the dust of the universe is crushed to make something spectacular, He longs to make ALL THINGS good for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Are you feeling pressed within an inch of being crushed? Feeling so lost in your circumstance you feel like you can't be found? His word says that there will be a day when He will wipe every tear away. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. He is with us in this broken world.
Irwin Lutzer said it beautifully, "The bible is a smooth path for a very difficult journey." The bible is clear that because we live in a broken, imperfect, sinful world, we will have struggles. BUT, it is also  says 365 times, "do not fear"-- one for every day of the year, because He knows we weren't equipped to handle this. He made us in His image, and to be in His perfect presence. So until we meet the ultimate Holder of the bird's eye view, we have to know His Truth, take comfort in His promises and see His presence in the shooting stars of our hard days here.

Love, Erin