John 10:27 New International Version
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Proverbs 16:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
Recently, I had the opportunity to learn what the video team at my church did on a weekend. They had just upgraded the video equipment and built a new room to accommodate the growing demand for the broadcast of the services.
First, I was allowed to first shadow the director in the broadcast booth. He had a large monitor that displayed every camera in the building along with the queued graphics that needed to be displayed throughout the service. His view was all encompassing and he knew where each camera was trained. Additionally, he had an outline of the service step by step, so nothing was a surprise to him.
Next, I was put on a camera. The gentleman who trained me showed me how to zoom in and out and how to pan smoothly so I didn’t jerk the view. I learned about “head space” and the optimum way to put someone in the viewfinder.
The time came to run through the service and I was assigned a camera and a number. I had to wear a headset that was buzzing with a flurry of constant commands and observations. I listen for the director to call me with orders regarding my shot. But, I wasn’t just hearing my commands but everyone else’s as well. I had to learn to not react to other’s instructions and to wait for when he called me and what he needed me to do; whether he wanted me to “pull” or “push” or to reverse. The lingo was new and the equipment was foreign, but I began to learn how to operate the camera and to listen for the voice of my director only when it applied to me. He would tell me when he liked a certain shot and conversely if he didn’t. He would also announce when I was “on” (broadcasting) to make sure I was steady with my movements. Throughout the entire service, I had to be alert and waiting for the instructions to come.
It was fast paced and a little nerve wracking but completely exciting! And it taught me about God.
You see, the director had a full view of everything going on at any given moment, unlike my myopic sight. He saw where each camera was trained and what would make the preferred view for people watching. He seamlessly transitioned shots to make the program the best it could be and I had to learn to trust the director and to not pay attention to what he was telling others to do. I only had to listen my orders and comply. After all, my lens was smaller than his ultimate view.
Isn’t that what God wants from us? He wants us to trust that he sees the whole picture and knows how to fit everything together the right way. His view is all encompassing; our view is limited. Our job is to listen for what he tells us and to obediently respond. Imagine what it would be like to watch a show where all the camera folks controlled the show and not the director, it would be mass chaos.
We can’t be concerned with how God calls others. Their journey is their own. It’s unique to them. When we cannot compare how God has called them with how he has called us because our journeys are unique and only he has the big picture.
Are you trusting the great director with your life and listening to his voice for you?
“God, please make our hearts open to hear your voice. Make us sensitive to your direction for our steps. Help us not to compare our walk with someone else’s and to completely trust you as our good father. Amen. “
Jennifer Osborn is an award-winning young adult author, and dynamic speaker and artist, having authored over ten books. Currently, she is working on her autobiography, which chronicles her harrowing journey as the daughter of mentally ill parents who came to understand her full identity in Christ.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
My mother-in-law used to intimidate me by telling of her conversion. When she came to know Christ she was “delivered” of all of the pain of her childhood. I’d listen to her with a reverent awe because I was so envious. For me, my healing was slow and trials have weighted me down. It has been a moment-by-moment, bit-by-bit becoming like Christ. No miracle for me. But, let me say loudly, “praise God” for that.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Each trial, either inwardly or outwardly is there to make us into something more. God wants to use it all. That is a radical way to look at things. God wastes nothing.
Instead of categorizing our trials as “bad luck”, we should be recognizing it as a way God will transform us. Our situations are not random, but something God allows to be able to use it somehow to better us, to make us into what he wants.
How you might ask? Only God can really answer it, but I know that the testing of our faith in EVERYTHING produces endurance.
The orphan mentality sees bad luck or trials as something they bring on themselves because they are not good enough to receive favor or good luck simply because of who they are. So, when bad things happen or adversity happens they immediately go to the “of course, it’s what I deserve” category. We need not to think of who we are, but WHO’S we are.
All too often I’ve been in that guilty category of looking at every little thing that goes wrong as my “curse” at being an orphan instead of stopping and asking what might God be trying to show me in it and trusting him in the midst of it.
Realizing this new way of thinking about trials will get you to the point of truly rejoicing in all adversity and growing in your faith.
How are you going to look at the bumps in your day today?