As I’m writing this I am watching a bird that is trapped in the garage. The trap is nothing tangible, but the bird doesn’t know that. She is sitting on the windowsill, and every few seconds she lunges into the glass, only to be knocked back. She regroups, shakes her head, and tries again. This has been going on for hours. I’ve tried to help her, but my presence causes her to panic, sending her into the window more often and with more vigor.
Obviously the bird wants to leave the garage and the window seems like the only way out; from her point of view it looks like she has found the way to return to the great outdoors. There must be a level of confusion and frustration as she struggles to leave the garage, seemingly headed in the right direction, and yet she gets knocked back on her tail feathers.
I have a different perspective. From where I sit I can see exactly what the bird sees. I see the green grass and the towering walnut trees that I imagine the bird longs to investigate. But that is all the bird can see. I can see much more.
In addition to what is outside, I can also see what is inside. Expanding out past the window I see the wall, and about three feet to the right of the wall I see the edge of the garage, the bird’s path to freedom. Because of her limited perspective, she has made herself a prisoner by three feet of ignorance.
Many times we become like that bird. Because of our limited perspective we see a small part of reality, but we miss the big picture because there are details we cannot know. We can become frustrated, feeling like we are beating our heads against a wall (or window). Maybe you don’t understand why God is not working out a situation like you had hoped, or you have some other dilemma in life.
God has a different perspective. He sees things we cannot see, so He does things we would not have done. We need to trust that He is doing what is best, even when we don’t understand. Instead of feeling trapped, we will be as free as a bird.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.