Friday, February 4

The Bigger Picture

Read Matthew 25:31-46

Dart Throwing. . . Because We Don't Naturally View Things As God Does

by Allysa (borrowed with permission from Resovled2Worship).

I was reading a story about a professor who set up on object lesson for his seminary class. . .

He asked as each came in to draw a picture of someone that they disliked, or were angry at or had hurt them and they were unable to love.

On the wall of the class room was a big target and there was a table with lots of darts.

Each person drew a picture - one drew a picture of a woman who had stolen her man, another drew a picture of a sibling. Another drew a picture of a former friend who had betrayed her. You get the idea.

The professor told the students they were welcome to put their pictures on the wall and he would allow them to throw the darts at them. The students began throwing their darts - some very forcefully to the point of the targets nearly ripping to shreds. It became quite the excitable time and everyone began laughing.

Then it was time to be seated. The professor began removing the student made targets from the wall. Underneath was a picture of Jesus.

A quietness came over the class. There on the wall was a mangled and ripped up picture - holes, jagged marks covering the face of Jesus. His eyes pierced.

The professor said only these words,

"In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my brothers, you have done it unto Me."

(Matt. 25:40)

On another note, but kind of on the same. . . I read this story this week to the children and thought to share it here as well since it spoke volumes:

"…There was a man who had four sons. He wanted them to learn to not judge things too quickly, so he sent them each on a quest to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

He sent his first son in the winter, his second in the spring, his third in summer and his youngest in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said no – it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

After hearing all his son’s responses, the wise father replied, “Sons, you are all right — because you have each seen only one season in the tree’s life. But you cannot judge a tree, or a person, or anything else by only one season. Most things can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons have come to pass”."

I've experienced the pain of being judged. . . often times prematurely. I have also experienced my flesh rise up and judge others, prematurely.

I have asked God to show me how to challenge my children to look closely and long enough to see the big picture with each other here at home. "Guys," I say, "We're all in process. . ."

They know what I mean by this: give each other the benefit of the doubt. Know that God isn't done with any of us yet. Know that each of us are in different seasons. And lastly, quit looking at others - look at yourself - there's lots there that will take a lifetime! We truly should be so consumed with God and being right with Him that we shouldn't have a second to judge or condemn someone else.

God is so patient with me as I work through, grow through seasons in my life. I like the analogy of the seasons with the pear tree. It seems that I go through one season after another - some so dry, some where blooms seem to be growing -- longing and waiting for the day when the fruit is ripe and plentiful.

I am so thankful that God sees the bigger picture of my life.

I find such hope in His not giving up on me.

He is an awesome God!

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