Have you heard the saying “I can’t see the forest through the trees?” It means we are so close to the trees right in front of us we forget or are unable to grasp the larger concept of the forest. In this loud and distracting world, we can get so caught up in the here and now, we lose our understanding of the bigger picture. Specifically, many of us who are striving to live as Christ followers struggle with living for the world today, rather than learning with an eternal perspective.
When we consider living for today verses living with an eternal focus, we see a stark contrast. The Bible says today is full of troubles but our eternity with God is full of peace. The Bible says today is full of darkness but as we see in Isaiah 60 below, heaven is full of the light of Jesus.
The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Isaiah 60: 19-20 (ESV)
This truth allows us to take a deep breath and refocus. We experience a glimpse of the peace and beauty eternity will offer when we see a magnificent sunrise or sunset. Yet this in nothing compared to the radiant light of heaven. In fact, in our eternal heaven, the sun will cease to be our source of light and the Son Jesus will be our eternal light. Only one letter separates them—sun versus Son—yet they carry infinitely different connotations. We will live forever, in this glorious destination, if we are Christ followers.
God wants us to behold this eternal perspective in our daily lives now. Step back and see the forest through the trees. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and He helps us to do this.
So how does this look in the daily moments of our lives? When we, or someone we love, receive a tragic diagnosis, instead of fearful panic, it is stepping back and asking the Holy Spirit to help us face it in the bright, hopeful light of Jesus. When a loved one makes a devastating decision, we step back and focus on the secure hope knowing his/her salvation is in Jesus Christ. When a pandemic hits, we step back and know God is sovereign and rest in Him. No matter what happens on Earth, in Christ, we are promised a future and a hope.
Does this bigger picture of our future seem unrealistic for us to grasp? Is it impossible to imagine living life here and now with eternity in mind? If so, then perhaps we do not understand the true power of the light of Jesus. His light is not a wimpy flicker to our souls, but rather a blinding, deep beam of light shining straight into the core of our being.
For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24 (ESV)
Living in the powerful light of Jesus provides a jolt to our minds. He refocuses us. He renews us. He restores us. Setting our eyes upon Jesus in the everyday moments causes us to step back and see things through His light. So sister, step back and bask in the glorious light of Jesus so His light may shine through you.
Holding Fast to Hope,