The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


September 1, 2011

Are you really seeing the bigger picture?

If you’re anything like me, it is easy to get bogged down in the quagmire of a situation or circumstance or routine. From where I’m standing, sometimes all I can see is what is happening to me, my responsibilities, my feelings, my perspective and so on. I can easily get wrapped up in myself.

Recently I heard the Lord say: “It’s not all about you.”

Now that doesn’t mean He doesn’t have a plan for me. Just the opposite. He declared His intent for the Israelites (and you and me) in Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

The thing is, the course that He sets each of us on is part of a grander plan. We might feel lost or confused about the route, but He isn’t. He has the bigger picture in full view.

Consider the following:

Twelve men, most of whom were strangers, were handpicked to live with each other on the road for three years. Talk about a true reality show depicted in the four gospels!  

Jesus’ 12 disciples each were tasked to do certain things within the circle. The instructions were simple — all the Lord sought was obedience to do the job required. Sometimes the men balked at how mundane it was or how ridiculous it seemed. Sometimes the request looked downright impossible.

I can’t imagine leaving my job, my creature comforts of home and my spouse to follow the Messiah on a wild and unpredictable journey across the country. Nor could I stand sticking it out with 11 other people whose habits would have gotten on my nerves after three days. But that is exactly what those men did. They looked beyond themselves and saw a greater purpose.

Still pondering whether God gave you the correct directions? Maybe you feel He misplaced your map since your internal GPS keeps saying “re-calculating.”

Think about Joseph. He went from being sold into slavery by his brothers and falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife to being second in command to the Pharaoh and able to save his family from the famine. No doubt Joseph struggled with keeping his faith in the Lord as he wasted years away behind bars. I would have been asking Him “What exactly was Your point for putting me here?” But Joseph trusted Him and the Lord lifted him right into the position He intended all along.

One last thought, perhaps you — like me — occasionally question God’s instructions. That voice in our heads that says, “He didn’t really mean for me to (fill in the blank).” Have you ever ended up acting childish and pointing out that He didn’t make so-and-so do that, so why am I?

I clearly heard Him tell me not long ago: “Don’t worry about what others think or do. I (the Lord) have told you exactly what I need from you.”

We need to trust in Him regarding the bigger picture, to remember the end result is a divine destiny with Him in heaven.

One of the verses I have long clung to since I was a teenager is Joshua 1:9 — “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Just Hold On, written by Ruth Ann Replogle and published every Friday in the Enid News & Eagle, is based on her belief in Hebrews 4:14.

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