When I am not wearing my glasses, everything a few feet away strains my vision, and anything past that is a blur. I have been wearing glasses for about 20 years, but sometimes there are situations where I can’t or won’t wear them. When that happens, I invariably miss most of what is going on around me.
Once my husband Mike and I were leaving a hairdressing salon when, out of the blue it seemed, Mike started talking about a friend of ours. She had, in fact, been in the salon the entire time, but my range of focus had been so limited that I hadn’t even seen her.
It’s easy to go through life that way, so focused on what’s happening at the moment that we fail to see the whole picture. When that happens, those relatively small matters that have our attention become too important to us. If we would only step back, we would realize that bigger and ultimately more important things are going on outside of our range of sight; we would see what we have been missing.
As a young mother, I sometimes resent that parenthood doesn’t leave me much time. I miss the freedom to do as I please. But when I stop and think about it, I immediately realize that my “freedom” is a very small thing to give up in exchange for the love and appreciation I receive from my two adorable children, or the pride I take in being their mother.
Sometimes we’re too shortsighted to see the bigger picture; other times we pass through fog, or obstructions block our view; and yet other times the big picture is just too big for us to comprehend.
Whatever the case, we can take comfort in knowing that God sees and understands it all clearly, and that one day we will too. The apostle Paul put it nicely: “Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but [in the next life] we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”1