I was so excited! Hilary and Jamie were taking me into London to see the sights, London, England that is. I had never been to the UK before let alone “The Big Smoke” so all systems were go. The plan was simple. Get as much in as possible starting with the most obvious and best known: the Thames, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc. and of course THE palace.
So there we were standing out in front of Buckingham Palace, that massive, historic, iconic edifice. I was hoping we’d be invited in for tea but we weren’t, bummer. Gaping in awe taking it all in, I suddenly a wet blob hit the back of my head. I instinctively reach up to touch my hair… and YUK, YUK, YUK! I withdrew my hand to see it covered with a lot of white bird poop! I was so disgusted! My elation had just as suddenly turned to revulsion!
“That is such good luck!” Hilary exclaimed.
I’ve googled it since and indeed they say it is, but it surely didn’t feel like good luck at the time. I knew that if I didn’t put it out of my mind, that smell, the look of a big wet spot in my hair, it could quickly spoil the whole day. What do the Brits say?
“Stay calm and carry on,” so that is exactly what I did.
Well, the day progressed with a delicious lunch aboard a boat gliding down the Thames. What a gorgeous May day there in London town! Later we eventually found ourselves in Soho.
“I always see someone famous here,” Jamie said.
He no sooner got the words out of his mouth than Hil exclaimed, “Look," as she pointed across the street.
I had to do a double take. There was Charlton Heston!
We scurried over to him where only a few others had already gathered. He was tall, very tall and he was wearing a jogging suit. Ok, now you really have an idea of what year it was. He was a very pleasant and affable man informing us that this was the backstage entrance to a theatre. We were able to get his autograph and take a couple of photos which of course absolutely made my day! Bird poop, what bird poop….
Life is like this, isn’t it. It can change instantly without warning. That one phone call, that one unforeseen outcome, that one lost job, that one rejection, or that one Dr’s report and life changes forever. With that one storm, it’s like a switch was flicked.
The Bible has many examples of this very thing.
One day Joseph is home with his family and his adoring father, and the next, he finds himself literally thrown in a pit by his brothers.
One day David is summoned to play his soothing harp for the king, and the next, he’s running for his life from that same king.
One day Esther is lounging around the castle acting all queen-like which she was, and the next, her very life and the lives of those she loves are threatened.
How do find anchor in such troubled seas… because there is absolutely no guarantee of smooth sailing. There just isn’t, for anyone. Every single person has faced adversity to some degree. In fact, the Bible says to expect it. John 16:33 It’s when the waves hit that many people flounder the most, unprepared and unable to cope. Adversity shapes us like it or not, one way or the other.
As you may have deduced already, I’m a huge fan of changing your perspective. For me it comes a bit easier with each passing year. Let me explain.
We see adversity from our perspective. Jesus does not. While he does indeed feel our pain, his perspective is omniscient. He is all knowing. The heartbreaking adversity in Joseph’s life actually resulted in thousands of lives being saved from starvation in ancient Egypt, even the lives of those same brothers who threw him down the pit in the first place. God allowed this time of deep rejection and fear in Joseph’s life for a very good reason. It took years to unfold but ultimately all was made right in Joseph’s family too. The same was true for David. By the time he was declared the rightful king, he had learned time and time again to trust God’s ultimate protection over his life. He had been allowed to build his faith. Queen Esther risked her own life to save her people because God gave her the courage to act. She had gained a fortitude and confidence she had never known before. Otherwise, the consequences would have been dire.
Over the years I have gradually learned that there is great comfort and solace in simply trusting that God’s got this or that. I can set the burden down... and what respite that is! The heavier the burden, the bigger the relief can be. This shift in my viewpoint allows me, reassures me, that no matter what happens the very best outcome will prevail even when it may not feel like the best. If we change our perspective we will eventually see that we can even count it all joy! James 1:2-3 Yes, I bet joy is not exactly the first thing you think of when adversity hits, but with some effort this new vantage point you gain will change how you look at adversity and turmoil. When you receive that dreadful news you will be prepared, equipped, sheltered in safe harbor. After all what better place is there to be especially during tribulation than safely in Jesus’ loving hands. Imagine what He can accomplish!