The Bigger Picture
I am not a big fan of technology, and my beloved old slider phone is proof. For the most part, my “dumb” phone is totally adequate. Talk and text. Isn’t that enough?
There are moments, however, when I catch myself complaining about not being able to open group texts, download a digital image, or have the benefit of GPS. In such moments, my techno-savvy kids don’t cut me any slack. “Mom, you could just get a ‘smart’ phone and join the real world,” they tease.
Last week my two oldest nearly heckled me off the planet. My request was simple enough. “Could I forward a picture sent to my cell phone to one of yours so I can view it on a big screen?” (Okay. I admit that it IS pretty hard to see much detail on my little phone!) After picking himself up off the floor, Monte said he’d be happy to put the picture on a “really BIG screen” for me and proceeded to post the picture on his laptop! LOL! The picture on the right is the one I asked him to pull up on the big screen.
Lately, life circumstances have me thinking a lot about “the bigger picture.” Twenty-eight years ago my brother-in-law, Glen, was in a truck accident that left him with a permanent brain impairment. As a result, he’s lived almost half his life in a nursing home in my hometown of Estelline, South Dakota. Just a few weeks ago, we moved our dementia-stricken mom to that very same facility. So Glen, who calls Bingo on Fridays and cares for the barnyard animals in the backyard, now has a new mission. With his room-brightening smile and friendly personality, he checks in on Mom every day, inviting her to coffee or to work on a puzzle.
This amazing turn of events has touched my sister deeply. Seeing her husband confined to that nursing home year after year, she often asked God, “Why would you leave Glen here like this? If he was just going to end up in a nursing home, why didn’t you just take him to heaven?” But she’s not asking that question any more. “Here Glen is helping us take care of mom,” she reflected. “Could we ever have imagined that God could bring blessing out of what was so tragic and painful?”
In God’s bigger picture, it all makes sense. While we could not see it at the time, God was at work from the very beginning. In a similar way, we’re even seeing some “good” come out of my mom’s heart-breaking illness. In answer to her own prayers, God is using Mom’s difficult situation as part of a significant re-connection taking place in her family. Healing has begun as trust in the profound goodness and sovereignty of God deepens. One special result is a sweeter, more detailed view of “The Bigger Picture.”
God does, indeed, have a bigger picture for you and your family. Though it may be hard to see on the “dumb” phone screens of life, you can trust the Sovereign God. Perhaps there are difficult circumstances in your world today. I encourage you to submit to His perfect faithfulness and then forward your fuzzy little picture to the One who holds the big screen.
“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 … What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (or … truck accidents or dementia or cancer or ???) … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8