Devotional 4/16/2020

Sometimes a change of perspective or a new point of view can really make things look different to us.  I shared on Tuesday that Tuesday is my least favorite day of the week and that I was kind of blah.  One of the members emailed me and suggested that I think of instead the people I love who were born on Tuesdays. 

I started to type in reply that I did not know for sure anyone born on a Tuesday. Then suddenly it hit me.  Belle was born on a Tuesday.  And so was Amanda.  I became a mother of a human (I was a dog mother already) for the first time on a Tuesday.  I held both my little girls for the first time on a Tuesday.  I put a face to this little creature that I had loved already for the first time on a Tuesday.  I got to be alone in my body again on a Tuesday!  Our family grew on a Tuesday in size and love, not just once but twice.  

Suddenly, I was not considering my blah mood (which I still did deal with with some self care).  Instead, I was lost in memories.  I remember the first time they laid Belle on my chest.  She had already been born for about 30 minutes but I could not hold her right away due to some very minor complications I had.  So she was all cleaned up, weighed, such.  She seemed so impossibly little- I said she was no bigger than a bug (and hence a nickname was born).  And then she picked up her little head and looked at me.  The nurses were all amazed at her neck and head control.  And indeed Belle would show to be very strong from birth on.  I know that she probably could not see me very well but when I spoke she picked up that head to me and looked at my face and I looked at hers and my fate was sealed- I was madly in love.  

Then I thought about the day that Amanda was born.  I often refer to it as the last day that I had peace.  I was beyond laid back while in labor.  The nurses kept commenting on how peaceful our room was.  Mostly this was because I ready to be done with pregnancy and because I trusted the medical staff whole-heartedly.   Everything was serene and went by the book.  So much so that a resident who was with my doctor actually handled the delivery with my doctor supervising.  I remember her overwhelming joy at her first 'solo' birth.  And when they gave me Amanda, I remember how she just nestled into my arms contently going to sleep like she was born every day.  And I looked at her face, and I realized that my capacity for love had grown somehow because I know loved this little one with a fierceness while still loving Belle just as much.  

All this to say, not all Tuesdays are really that bad.  I still hold they are overall my least favorite day in a workweek.  But a different point of view made me realize that quite a bit of amazing things had occurred to me even on Tuesdays.  A change of perspective took me outside of my humbug mood and brought me a bit of joy.  

Right now and perhaps more often than we realize in our lives, we sometimes need a change of perspective or a new point of view.  We get so bogged down in the day and its endless grind, or a situation that is hard with no end in sight, or a situation that we just cant seem to see over the top of.  

in these times, we need different points of view.  Maybe it is someone calling us to see something a little differently even while not dismissing our struggles.  Maybe it is sharing with someone whose been there or we respect, and having them share insights from their lives. Maybe it is taking a day or even an hour to lay it aside and just do something joyous.  A new perspective does not end our struggles but it can help us to manage them better, to begin to thrive rather than just survive, and to be stronger and healthier.  

But the point of view or perspective we should most seek is God's.  What would God see in a situation? Because often it is not what we are seeing in the midst.  Paul often sees his struggles from God's point of view and so even while he is shipwrecked, ridiculed, imprisoned and killed, the struggles do not overcome him.  I am sure if he was honest he would have loved an easy life where people just come and accept Christ without a mess but because he did not focus on it from his point of view, he took all of the hardships in stride and found joy instead of pain, found hope instead of despair and kept faith instead of abandonment.  

I am sure you are struggling with something right now in your life.  COVID-19 has made our lives very difficult from the keeping us away from loved ones, to the inability to get everything we want right when we want or need it (at least toilet paper is coming back!) to changing the very ways we work and communicate.  You may also be struggling with personal hardships with health, yours or a loved ones, or finding purpose, or financial, and so on.  

Today I invite you to pray and try to see God's point of view on these situations.  Not that they will be repaired but so that you can see it differently and like Paul and millions of believers through the years so that you may find joy, hope and faith even amidst the trials of life.

With Love,