Michel: Changing perspectives makes problems easier to handle

Published 12:10 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

My granddaughter Olivia loves her baby sister, Charlie. She loves to talk to her, feed her and wake her up when the baby’s eyes begin to close.

The only thing Olivia doesn’t like about their relationship is the separation they experience on Sunday mornings.

Once they arrive at church, Charlie is brought to the Ladybug infants group while Olivia goes to the Zoo, the area for preschoolers.

At this point Olivia cries, “Charlie! I want my baby sister Charlie!” It doesn’t take long for her to be drawn in by the new toys for her to play with, the art area and always cheerful workers whose patience far exceeds Olivia’s momentary sadness, which I didn’t understand.

“Why does Olivia cry? Charlie is just on the other side of those plastic panels, in the same room as Olivia,” I commented to her mom.

“Yes, but Olivia is not tall enough to see over the dividers,” her mom explained.

What Olivia sees as brightly colored barriers that define her Sunday morning play space, her mom views as  a  practical way to keep the infants from being trampled by the toddlers.

And then I understood. I sometimes find myself in Olivia’s position, crying over situations I look at from my limited viewpoint. If only I would remember to ask God to let me see things differently.

I’m not alone.

Moses saw his weakness of speech.  God saw a great leader.

Jeremiah considered himself to be a child. God called Him a prophet to the nations.

The Israelite army ran in fear from Goliath the giant. David saw a human who dared to defy God.

Present day situations are no different from those recorded in the Bible. I have a feeling that what I call emptiness, God sees as room for His Presence.

What seems like an end to me could be a new beginning from Heaven’s point of view. I may see only tears of grief, but God sees the seeds for songs of joy.

And when I describe a circumstance as being hopeless, God probably sees a situation that is ripe for a miracle.

May we always be reminded to look at people and difficulties from God’s point of view. When we have a situation that appears to be a roadblock, let’s imagine what the scene looks like to our Heavenly Father.

Isaiah 66:1 reminds us Heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool.

If we look at the roadblock long enough, it will grow larger and larger and will indeed hinder our progress. But if we move our eyes from our problem, look to Jesus and wait on Him, the roadblock only serves as a hurdle over which we will soar.

Now, back to Olivia.

When she is lifted to see that Charlie is safe on the other side, she goes back to her business of play.

Knowing that our loved ones are safe on the other side … well, that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.