We have often heard people say, “Look at the big picture.” or “See the wood for the trees.” In our discipleship journey, we need also to look at the big picture. For example, what is God’s Master’s Plan and where has God placed me in His Plan?
Quite often, we are so absorbed with the day-to-day events that we forget to step back to see the wood for the trees. When we encounter problems, we ask God “Why me?” When we fall ill, we asked God, “Why me?” When we suffer pain or loss, we ask God, “Why me?” And so on.
But when we look at the big picture, we begin to see that God has a place for each one of us in His Master Plan. Everything that happens to us has a reason and purpose. The Bible tells us that “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 [NIV (1984)].
How can problems, illness, pain and loss, etc. be good? By themselves, they are not good. But they could be used by God to help us know Him more, humble us, prepare us for greater good works, discipline us that we might return to Him, develop our character towards Christlikeness.
Our Church’s theme for this year is “We are God’s workmanship.” Unless we look at the big picture, we will not be able to see His wonderful workmanship in our lives. So the next time when we encounter problems, illness, pain or loss, etc. do not ask God, “Why me?” Ask instead, “Lord, what are you showing or teaching me?” Or “What masterpiece are you producing in my life?” And pray for God’s wisdom to see His will and purpose in our unpleasant circumstances and for His strength to endure hardship and suffering as part of our discipleship journey, witness and character development. Pray that we will be able to see the masterpieces God is producing in our lives — to glorify Him.
When we look at the big picture, we are also able to go about our daily chores and work cheerfully and with a sense of purpose. A story is told of two workmen carrying bricks from one spot to another at a construction site. One was grouchy and the other, cheerful. One day, a V.I.P. visited the site and he noticed the two workmen and their different dispositions. He asked the grouchy workman what he was doing and the reply was that he was not sure. He only knew he had to carry the bricks from one spot to another, day after day, and that was very boring and mundane. The V.I.P. then asked the cheerful workman the same question and the reply was that he was building a cathedral for people to worship God!
So do we find what we do everyday purposeful? Or do we find it meaningless and boring? Our disposition depends on whether or not we see our role and place in God’s Master Plan. We need to remind ourselves daily that “… we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 [NIV (1984)]. And the Master Potter has not done with us yet. We are still His work-in-progress. His masterpieces will be revealed for all to see when Christ comes again. Hallelujah! To God be the glory!
By Mr Lim Han Soon (YCKC Bulletin 28&29 November 2015)