Sunday, October 22, 2017

Depth Perception

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
James 4:8

I apologize for my infrequent and sporadic blog posting these days.
Our lives are turned completely upside down right now,
and, to tell you the truth, I find it hard to find time, inspiration, hope, or even the amount of energy required, to pour into what it takes to write.
I don't ever want this blog to be about anything other than what God wants.
Idle chatter or "fluff" has seldom been the luxury here.
I have several drafts sitting in my unpublished folder, and this is one God keeps bringing back to my, I took the time this morning to get alone with Him and finish this post.
I hope it brings encouragement to you, dear friends.

Right next door to Mom and Dad Smith's house is the wide, rolling field shown in this picture.

Beyond the field are mountains.
The neighbor who owns that field lives in a big, white, two-story farmhouse across the road and is a cattle farmer.
Oftentimes, at night, I hear them lowing.
I can't explain why I find the sound comforting.
I suppose it is that peace that comes when anxiety darkens the already blackened sky,
and I feel a sense of solace knowing there is life going on around me, in spite of the darkness.
It somehow reminds me that no matter how dark things get, life goes on.

Sometimes, I stand near the fence that separates the two properties or I look out the bedroom window, and I peer way off in the distance to see the silhouette of a solitary cow.

From where I stand, the cow looks so small.
In reality, it probably weighs around a thousand pounds.
The amazing thing is that if I were to climb through the fence and walk across the wide expanse,
the closer I would get to the cow, the reality of its size would become more apparent with each step.

Through my entire walk towards the cow, its true proportion and dimensions never change.
The thing that continually changes as I approach it happens in me, not the cow.
It is all about depth perception and how far I am from the object I am looking at.

Depth perception -
the ability to perceive the relative distance of objects in one's visual field

It kind of reminds me of God and my perception of Him.
The closer I get to Him, the bigger He appears to me.
That's because He IS big.
In I Kings 8:27, King Solomon said,
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"

The heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain God.
He is just that big.

In Isaiah 66:1, we read,
"Thus saith the LORD, the heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool..."

That's a mighty big God.

The only time God appears small to me is when I drift away from Him and try to view Him from afar.
It is not that He is any smaller than He has ever been.
It is just that when I am too far away from Him, the distance between us causes my depth perception to make Him appear small to me.

Just like that cow on the hillside....1,000 pounds the whole time,
but reality is misrepresented by the distance between the cow and me.

For some reason, the farther I am from Him, the more tempted I am to keep walking in the same direction, and the harder it seems to turn around.
A drift away from God is a downward slope.
Each step taken in the wrong direction not only seems a bit easier than the last,
but each wayward step makes Him appear smaller and smaller.
The farther away He seems, the more hope wanes.
When I see God as small, I start to panic and fear that He will not be able to be the Savior, Defender, and Comforter I so desperately need.
When I start to panic, I have a very bad tendency to start trying to take matters into my own hands.
Never a good idea.
The only way back to the reality of God's magnitude is to put forth the required effort to start taking steps towards Him...

...not farther away from Him.

See the difference?
See how much smaller the neighbor's barn appears when there is greater distance between me and the barn?
This was actually a matter of zooming in with Kevin's cell phone camera,
but you get the picture.  (Pun intended.☺)

That barn never moves.
It never diminishes or increases in size.
It looks really big when I "draw nigh" to it, and as I "draw nigh", my perception of it changes.
The closer I get, the closer it truly is, in reality, to me, almost like it is meeting me in the middle.

In my alone time with Jesus this morning, He took me to this verse,
"Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee..."
Psalm 65:4

Oh, to be chosen by God!
To be wooed by His precious Spirit to a place closer to Him!
Is there any higher call?
To be feel the compelling pull to approach unto the Most High God!
Blessed indeed!

James 4:8 says, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
I have found this promise to be true innumerable times throughout life, but I never saw this Scripture in the light of depth perception.

God is still on the throne.
He always has been.
He always will be.
He is the one constant in this life and the next.
He is steadfast.
(Everywhere at the same time.)
(Having all power - able to do anything.)

The closer I get to Him, the more I realize all of this.
When I drift too far in the wrong direction, truth becomes obscure, because my perception of Him is skewed.

The reality is that He is in control.
He sees every part of our lives, down to the most minute, intricate detail.
Though we are often knocked off our feet by shocking news or trials that hit us "out of nowhere",
nothing surprises God.

Recently, He spoke these words to me.
"Child, I winnow your path.
I only allow certain things to remain there.
You see the bad things I choose to leave.
You do not see the bad things I choose to remove."

Let that sink in, my friend.
Ponder that.
It has brought an incredible depth of peace to my heart.

to remove (something, such as chaff)
to get rid of (something undesirable or unwanted)
to separate desirable and undesirable elements

God is going before us, winnowing our path, clearing out the things He does not want us to have to deal with.
He never promised He would remove every bad thing.
He never said we would walk through life with never a care,
never a heartache,
never a pain.

It's easy to forget these things when we drift too far from God, and our perception of Him is distorted.

The truth is, God is WAY bigger than we are.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

The closer we move towards God...
the more we bask in His presence...
the longer we dwell there...
the more our perception clears, and we come to realize the absolute truth.

King of the World - Natalie Grant