Sometimes things aren’t merely what we see. Think of a stage play. As an audience member, I see actors on stage reciting well-memorized lines in a convincing way. But behind the scenes, there’s a truckload of equipment and a busload of stagehands. Yes, the play is the thing, but there’s a lot more involved in the production than what we see on stage.
Perhaps an even better example is a movie. Think of the extraordinary amount of people who are gathered off-camera as the actors act. Look at the long list of credits at the end of a movie. I often find myself watching movies and using my imagination to envision what the director, lighting, sound, grips, key grips, best boy, etc. are doing at the moment captured on film. There’s so much going on behind the scenes!
Sometimes when we look beyond the obvious, an entirely new perspective opens to us.
In our day to day lives, when we realize that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them,” (Romans 8:28) we can experience an extraordinary change in perspective. That swivel, that shift towards understanding that “everything” is being used by God is a vital moment in any given situation as we live God-centered lives.
There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than is evident to our limited perspective. This simple realization is a part of what we understand as faith; we have faith in the promise that God is in everything with us and He causes everything to work together for the good.
Having faith that God is behind the scenes, working out every detail, allows us to avoid lots of pitfalls. My friend jokes, “The first rule of accountability is finding someone to blame.” Well, guess what? Knowing God is large and in charge means we no longer play the blame game. We aren’t victims; we are victors.
Having faith that God is at work allows me to avoid a “me vs. them” mindset. I can have faith that God is at work in every single person’s life. The Holy Spirit is whispering to some people and yelling at others. We don’t need to know who is which, we just know He is at work, 24/7 in everyone. That frees us to engage people with confidence. We can simply pray, “Father God, I know you’re at work in my friend, please use me to further what you’re already doing and allow me to speak into what you’re already speaking.”
Pray like that and keep praying. It’s through prayer, through honest, heartfelt conversation with Him that builds our faith. Even when things seem out of control, He is in control. When things seem like a desert, He is bringing His rain. When we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, He is walking beside us.
Perhaps knowing the God of all creation wants to walk beside us is the biggest perspective shift. If He is beside us and each step is in step with Him, then is there anything, anyone or anyplace that we need to fear? In fact, as He is beside us, does it matter if all we get to see is the next step? We can let Him be the One working behind our lifelong movie. Instead of a long list of behind-the-scene names including the director, lighting, sound, grips, key grips, best boy, and others, there’s just one name: Jesus. And He is Lord.