HUGE SALE – 70% off!! This was the bait that enticed two tired parents from their home late at night. We had gone out after putting the kids to bed to try to score at a local clothing store. Despite the promise of good deals, it turned out to be one of those frustrating shopping trips. No matter how hard we looked, we couldn’t find anything.
Feeling a bit foolish and defeated we got into our car to drive home. As we left the nearly-empty parking lot, a man beside a car with the hood up was flagging us down. We nearly kept driving but stopped to help him almost as an afterthought.
It turned out he had been waiting with a drained battery for over an hour for someone to stop and help him. His face becmed with relief and gratitude as we positioned the car and hooked up the cables. It took just a few moments to rescue him from his predicament and he thanked us profusely. As we drove away we couldn’t help feeling that we had gone to the shopping center with our own purpose in mind, but that apparently God had a different purpose for us to be there right then.
So often we get stuck looking at life through the lens of our own narrow experience: success or failure, hope or frustration, courage or fear. What a gift it would be to have more moments in life when we see what God sees, when we release the grip on our own perspective to allow the Creator of the Universe to perform a “zoom out” and show us His perspective.
In Israel the summer months can be pretty draining. Those of you who live in a desert climate can relate. The six months between Passover and the Fall High Holidays can seem like forever. The heat is merciless and the memory of rain and cool weather seem like a dream. Even the small hardship of managing in the heat of the summer can make everything else seem more challenging.
Then there are the very real life-altering challenges that some of our community members are dealing with – learning how to live life as a widow with small children, walking through breast cancer and chemotherapy, major financial challenges, an undesired divorce, a disease that the doctors cannot diagnose, not making it into the army unit you dreamed of and worked so hard for.
In the Psalms of Lament King David showed us that we can cry and grieve and call out to our Heavenly Father in full honesty and exploration of our hearts’ emotion. But he also showed us that from the depths of the pit of despair when we lift up our eyes to our Maker He can draw us up to stand on solid ground.
In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Wherever you are, no matter what challenge you face, whether big or small, we pray that you will lift up your eyes to your Maker, allow Him to show you His perspective, allow Him to recharge your batteries and allow Him to give you a hope and a future.