I gave her instructions for the job. “Clear the furniture from the room, vacuum thoroughly, and then I will show you how to mop the wood floor.” Once my daughter got through the first two of three steps, I joined the cleaning party to teach the age-old-mom-class, “Mopping 101.” Awesome.
Class began with a few mopping fundamentals. “Shake the bottle of the polish before you use it. Do one small section at a time. Mop along the grain of the wood. Put some arm strength into it and always – always step back to see if you missed any spots.” I gave a quick demonstration then Kennedy took the mop and got busy on her weekend wood-floor polishing project.
As I walked away, it hit me.
In order to see where the polish had been applied on the floor – in order to see if there were any mistakes or overlooked places – a mopper needs to step back and look at things from a different angle. From a fresh perspective.
To gain perspective in life, we often need to step back too: away from our emotions, our plans and our expectations – in order to consider the big picture. The God-picture.
It is so easy to get lost in the drama-filled challenges of life and become overwhelmed by our circumstances. Can I hear an Amen? I do this all the time! I get sucked into the drama of a moment and see only what my emotions allow me to see: a dim, slim and flesh-led view.
Let’s be honest, we all have some level of drama, dreams and expectations. And that’s not a bad thing. But if our emotions lead our responses, it can be difficult to see beyond our moments and mountains. When our hearts are consumed by the emotions of a moment, we can lose sight of what honors God and what really matters.
So what’s a woman to do?
Step back. Pray. Ask God for vision and perspective. Consider His Word. Remember His power, provision and plan. Move beyond self-led reactions to Spirit-led responses. The late pastor and theologian A.W. Tozer wrote, “Sometimes when we get overwhelmed we forget how big God is.” (Tweet this!)
Our perspectives change in God’s presence. We gain clarity and peace when we adopt God’s perspective instead of our own. His sight is pure, full of grace and eternal – while our sight is often imperfect, narrow and worried about the now. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
David stepped back in awe of God’s love. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
He reflected on his own ways verses God’s ways. “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.” (Psalm 119:15) “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” (Psalm 119:59)
Jesus also encourages us to step back from worries and fears. ““Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:24-26) When we consider the ways that God has provided in the past, it helps us to trust Him in the present. (Another tweetable!)
Kennedy rocked the mop that day in our kitchen because she heeded my directions and consistently drew back to gain perspective on her polishing. Step back today and position yourself in God’s grace. Consider the big picture. Lay your day, your plans, your thankfulness, your people, your problems, your wins and your losses before God. Trust His ability to work in and through it all. Relish the perspective and peace that rises and then be prepared for those around you to be drawn to the able, faithful God who is at work within you.
Dear Lord, I know I need to step away from my emotions, expectations and plans. I want Your perspective, Your dreams and Your responses to be mine. Cover me again with grace, order my steps and equip me fresh with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE: Are you ready to step back? What will that look like for you? Leave a comment below sharing your response to those questions or simply leave a comment saying, “I’m taking a step back!”
As always, you make my life richer. Thanks so much for seeking HIM with me. I really love hearing from you and can’t wait to read your responses!
READY TO GO DEEPER WITH GOD? Grab a copy of our Girlfriends in God book, Knowing God by Name. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, and free on-line video intros, this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.