- Keith Harris
Helen Keller was never one to refrain from speaking of her impairments. While many look and see one who is suffering from physical hardship, she never viewed her circumstance that way. She noted a rather interesting fact that speaks to our attitude and perspective regarding our experiences.
“Observers in the full enjoyment of their bodily senses pity me, but it is because they do not see the golden chamber in my life where I dwell delighted; for, dark as my path may seem to them, I carry a magic light in my heart. Faith, the spiritual strong searchlight, illumines the way, and although sinister doubts lurk in the shadow, I walk unafraid toward the Enchanted Wood, where the foliage is always green, where joy abides, where nightingales nest and sing, and where life and death are one in the Presence of the Lord.” - Helen Keller
All too often we get caught up gazing into the abyss of our struggles and inabilities. The ability to see beyond our circumstances and dwell on the delight brought by the presence of God in our lives is a matter of faith. The faith to which Christ calls his followers is one that drives us to see our eternal destiny -- one that understands this world is not our home. The goal is to grow in our faith and allow that growth to help alter our perspective as we face life's challenges.
Perspective, outlook, attitude -- these matter in our lives. A. W. Tozer said, “Things are for us not only what we hold them to be. Which is to say that our attitude toward things is likely in the long run to be more important than the things themselves.” Our perspective regarding our experiences in life plays a major role in how well we will deal with challenges that come our way. Indeed, this world is not our home. We have been created by God. And God has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We cannot deceive ourselves into believing the lies Satan puts in our path. He would have us believe this life is all there is. He wants us to focus only on what is right in front of us. He uses the difficulties we face to create doubt in God's activity and care in our lives.
These doubts, lurking in the shadow, can leave us in a precarious position if our perspective is fixed solely on our problems; and that's what Satan is counting on. He wants our struggles to take priority, to consume our thoughts. He wants us to be so transfixed by our hardships that we have little to no room for thoughts of our eternal home. A friend of mine was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. The cancer never completely went away. Oh, it had periods of minimal to no growth which was wonderful. But the cancer continued to slowly take its toll on his brain. But throughout his battle with this terrible disease, he never lost sight of his eternal destiny. As a matter of fact, his illness caused such a swelling of faith in him that he couldn't contain. Everywhere he went he shared the love of God and the blessing of Christ. He did not let his circumstances darken the eyes of his spirit. Rather, the opposite occurred -- he couldn't hold back the joy he felt knowing that God had a home prepared for him. This seems to be the sentiment that the apostle Paul shared with the Christians in Corinth.
"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:1-8).
Remember, perspective matters. Keep striving after that goal. Commit yourself to studying God's word and growing in your relationship with God. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. And your focus on our eternal home.