Take a second right now and go look out your window. Is the sun shining?
If the sun is shining, grab a quarter from between your sofa cushions and hold it up to your eye.
Where did the sun go? The enormous blazing fire-ball was blocked by a tiny coin!
Sometimes in my life I look at my problems like quarters. These are the problems that seem so much larger since becoming a widow. Maybe widowhood magnifies certain things in my life. They block my view of God’s Son–I can’t praise Him or pray or spend any time in reading Scripture because my problems seem so large. I sit in worship service, distracted by the issues affecting my emotions. Life loses any enjoyment because my brain is wrapped up in my problems.
A grown child running away from God…
Inabililty to sleep soundly…
Loneliness, even while surrounded by people…
Unending sadness and grief …
Overwhelming care for ailing parents …
Each of these can be like a quarter we hold up to block the sun.
Reality is, though, that the quarter doesn’t really block the sun from shining.
It is just a matter of perspective.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us
an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison
2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV
I do not like the eternal perspective of “light momentary affliction” sometimes. Especially when I am in the middle of one of those “afflictions”. My perspective is that it is completely clouding out my view of Christ. It blocks my praise. It prevents me from laying my burdens at His throne. Do you ever feel this way?
So now that we have established that we can block the Son with our afflictions, what can we do to remove the blocks? I know it isn’t as easy as taking the quarter away from our eyes, so let’s dig into some Scripture verses and see what He says.
Psalm 42. This Psalm is like a page out of the psalmist’s journal. The author asks questions I am very familiar with. Click on the link if you have a few minutes to read the entire Psalm, Here are some of the questions he asked:
- Why am I downcast?
- Why have You forgotten me?
- Why is my soul disturbed within me?
The Psalmist is holding up a quarter in front of his eye and saying, “I can’t see You, God! You must not be there!” But as he dialogues with himself, he lands on this phrase and repeats it several times in this chapter and the next:
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him. (Psalm 42:5 niv)
Is that the same place I land when I remove the blinders? In the middle of my grief or my afflictions, can I stand there and solidly declare, “My hope is in God. I WILL praise Him!”
As we put these two different passages together, one from the Old and one from the New Testament, we can see how the struggles we have here on earth can definitely block our view of eternity. We need to remove the blinders and say with the Psalmist, “My hope is in You.”
Would you repeat that with me right now – maybe even out loud –
MY HOPE IS IN YOU.
Lord God, my problems so easily block my view of You. Help me to declare my hope in You and take the blinders from my eyes. I want to see my afflictions from an eternal perspective today. Amen
- Get a 3×5 index card, tape a quarter on it, write “my afflictions can block the Son” –carry it in your purse or tape it to your bathroom mirror
- Choose a verse from Psalm 42 to memorize – write it on a post-it note, stick it on your steering wheel or other place your see often
- Get on a Bible website (Biblegateway or YouVersion or others) and look up the word HOPE. Jot down in your journal some of the verses and review them often.
- Don’t feel any shame in seeing a Biblical counselor who can help you talk through your “afflictions”.
- Start keeping a journal – write down prayers, thoughts, concerns, requests, verses, and anything else you want.
Elizabeth Dyer lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, and a noisy cat named after a German race car driver! Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was–widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”
Our team at A Widow’s Might would love to send a speaker to your next event. Email us at email@example.com to get information about our speakers.
Do you want to read more articles by Elizabeth? Read them here.
Here is an article by Lori about HOPE.
Liz Anne wrote a great article about Psalm 42 here.