Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT
Many years ago, I remember taking a family vacation to the beach. I was probably about 10 or 11 (I told you it was many years ago.) On one particular day, my cousins and I had been at the ocean for a few hours when my mom yelled from the boardwalk that lunch was ready. Being the bottomless pits that we were, we dropped our shovels and stuff and went racing for the tower of condos that sat a few 100 feet off of the beach. As I made my way towards the boardwalk that stretched across the dune, I ran past a bunch of teenage guys who had a mound of sand almost half my height. Running too close to the mound, I accidentally stepped on the edge and incurred a tirade of expletives for my careless steps. Honestly, I was floored. I couldn't figure out why the guy was so upset about his big pile of sand. It's not like he couldn't put another bucket full in its place. I quickly apologized and continued my race upstairs.
It wasn't until I got to our 11th floor balcony for lunch that I understood what had just taken place. Looking out over the beach below, I got the big picture. What I had stepped on was not just a mound of sand. It was a very detailed replica of Busch Stadium (the old baseball stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals played). The "mound", as I had seen it up close, was way more than that. It was a work that had been in progress for hours. It was really quite an amazing feat. I had not understood the value of the pile because I was too close to the finished product.
I thought about that as I was reading the above verse. It's really not much different from the things that you and I face in our lives. We can catch ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and not see how it effects the big picture. We can be the victim of a tirade of complaints or expletives for no apparent reason and never see how our "innocent mistake" rippled down through years of a person's personal journey.
More importantly, you and I will never understand (this side of heaven) all of the different circumstances of life. We just don't have the right perspective. The events you face today may seem out of place, unfair or overwhelming. Maybe it's because you're standing too close. Rather than looking at this week or even the 70+ years that God may give you in this life, try to understand the world from God's "penthouse" view. He sees all of eternity and He understands how every step and misstep can lead to the unfolding of His plan. My question mark may be your exclamation mark. My missed opportunity may lead to an open door for someone else, somewhere else.
The trick is not in knowing the meaning of every event in your life. It is in knowing the One who holds all events and searching to find how each step we take may bring Him greater glory through our victories and our failures.