Seeing the Big Picture by Os Hillman
By Os Hillman
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By Tchankio J. Noel
"...Everything is against me!" - Genesis 42:36
Eventually, Benjamin along with Jacob's other sons learned that their brother Joseph was second in command in Egypt. Joseph revealed his identity, and Jacob was reunited with his son whom he had not seen for more than 13 years. He had thought Joseph to be dead.
So often we believe our dreams are dead. There seems to be nothing left in our world to live for. Everything appears to be against us. During these times, God is doing His deepest behind-the-scenes work. During these times, God is performing a deeper work in each of us, a work that cannot be seen.
When clients began leaving my ad agency and it dried up for no apparent reason, it appeared "everything was against me." I could not see that God was orchestrating a whole new calling on my life. At the moment, it seemed like the worst thing in the world. It seemed that I had been a failure. But God said, "No." All the years before had been preparation for what God's ultimate calling would be. One of God's methods for directing His children's steps is through drying up resources: a job loss, a career change, or a disaster. In these times we are willing to listen more intently, and to seek God in ways we would not normally do. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." [C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1962), 93.]
"Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband." Ruth 1:3-5 Naomi's life was going well. A great husband. Two fine sons who had two wonderful wives. Then the unthinkable happened. Her husband died. A little time later both her sons die. Her and her daughter-in-laws find themselves in the midst of shattered dreams. This isn't how life was supposed to be.
"While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, 'Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.'" Acts 10:19-20 Peter had never preached to the Gentiles. In fact, he believed it was against Jewish law to associate with the Gentiles. God needed to change Peter's attitude about this, so God gave Peter a vision that showed him it was permissible to preach to the Gentiles. The Spirit came to Peter and informed him that some men were about to come visit him, and he was to go with them. He went with them, and the Lord did great miracles in the lives of Gentiles through Peter.
"So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, 'Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.'" Judges 7:5 Would you ever take on an army of 100,000 with only 300 men? Sound preposterous? I agree. However, this is exactly what happened with Gideon. It was bad enough that he began with 10,000 against 100,000, but this was too many men according to God. He would not allow Gideon to fight with this many soldiers, because the temptation would still remain to believe that it was the strength of his army that won the victory. God told Gideon to pare down his army to a mere 300.