Monday, April 23, 2012

Not the Whole Picture

(little moth sitting on our kids' front door the other morning... waiting to be featured in this post... smile)

All good guesses in yesterday's comments but CB was VERY close in her guess as to what yesterday's photo was - it was indeed part of a moth - not its wing but its body.
Above is the photo from which I blew up the one little part. It is quite easy to pick out that part, isn't it ? The skeleton face ?

It is humbling sometimes to realize how much difficulty we have in discerning the whole from a part - even when we know it is only a part.

I think there is a good spiritual analogy that can be derived from this fact .

1. Wrong Conclusions
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the ways of death.
Seeing only the part and not the whole causes us to draw wrong conclusions.
So often we look at something in our life, a tragedy, a situation, or a problem, and we cannot figure it out -- we cannot understand it or make sense of it.
We do not recognize that it is a blown up piece of the whole picture.
We judge as though it were the whole and consequently proclaim it to be what it is not. Then we act upon our false assumptions and end up frustrated and angry with the results.
We feel anxious or bitter , blame anyone else involved and even become upset with God.

How differently we would evaluate a 'piece' of our life if we could just see the whole picture. But only God sees the whole picture and He most often with holds that from us.
Does having only a piece not make us choose whether or not we will trust Him? And is it not also a 'fence' to keep us dependent on God wherein lies our security?

Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.

2. Focusing on the Part can Render us Powerless
Focusing on a 'piece' of a life portrait can fill us with such fear, or worry it leaves us paralysed - unable to discern or even think clearly. All we can think of is how to escape it.
I showed a friend the blown up photo of the moth piece and asked her what she saw. She said what she saw was rotting flesh that so repulsed her she couldn't even look at it.
I asked her if she didn't see a 'face'. Even after suggesting to her there was a face she could not see it. All she saw was rotting flesh.
Grabbing a pencil I sketched a quick pencil drawing of the 'skeleton face' and showed it to her.
She giggled and responded that the pencil drawing looked funny. She was then able to see the face in the photo with an easing of her emotional repulsion looking at the photo.

Sometimes a situation or tragedy is so horrific to us that we feel only extreme fear or repulsion. We can see no way to deal with it -- all we want is to escape - to run as fast and as far as we can. We can so no answer, no solution -- and it is impossible to hear God for the 'noise' of our emotions.
Then we need someone to come alongside in compassion, listen to our fear and quietly show us a 'pencil drawing' to help us see without the panic. When we become quiet we can then hear God's voice in our agony and feel His comforting peace and presence in the midst of chaos.

I Cor. 13:12 "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."
Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

3. The Gift of Wisdom
Sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees. We are too emotionally and physically overwhelmed with our situation to be able to see beyond the 'piece' to discern its place in the whole - or even to believe that it could have a God-intended purpose or end.
But God will bring people alongside who are able to see what we do not see.
Just as CB recognized that the 'piece' was part of a moth when others missed it, so also people can speak into our life and help us see that there is a bigger picture that God sees and knows.
CB did not have the 'perfect' total picture , so also we will never have the perfect picture as God sees it but we have God's Word and His Spirit to give us the spiritual insight and wisdom we need to face any situation and to understand the God that allowed it into our life.

Jas 3:13 "Who is wise and understanding among you?Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom."
1Th 5:11 "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another....."


Kathy said...

Thank you Julie...what a good illustration. This post gave me lots to think on.

Anonymous said...

Wow, can't believe I was so close in my guess! I was thinking it was a pretty random guess but after reading your post I realized it was not random at all. The reminder that God sees the whole picture and that I can depend on Him for my security instead of stressing out and worrying is something I really needed to hear right now. This whole illustration made this so clear in a new way and is so true.
Thanks for your encouragement Julie!

Lenora said...

Thank you Julie, this was a timely reminder as well as encouragement!
I've been reading "GOD is More than Enough" (foundations for a quiet soul) by Dr. Jim Berg, which talks about the noise in our lives and your post was such a fitting compliment to his book! (I would highly recommend this book).

ellen b. said...

Glad I at least saw the face :0)
You are a great thinker Julie!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Sometimes when I realize how little of the big picture that my mind can conceive I am humbled...and long more for heaven.Neat photo Julie, and inspired use of the moth's delicate design.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Aha. Now it all makes sense! In so many areas of life...we see only one little part. I'm so glad that God always sees th big picture!

Rosella said...

What a wonderful lesson! The moth looks so beautiful - like a soft crocheted piece of lace.