Did you have a snow globe as a child?
I did. I loved taking it in my hand and shaking it to see the sparkly fake snow whip up into a blizzard around the little figures inside. I knew that the snowstorm was limited in scope, however, and would soon settle down. I had the globe in the palm of my hand, after all, and governed events inside.
But imagine the snow globe from the perspective of the tiny “people” inside it. From their vantage point, all they can see is whirling whiteness that seems to have no end. They’re blinded to the fact that outside their little bubble, there’s no storm at all: everything is calm and under control.
Life here on earth can be a bit like living inside a snow globe, can’t it?
Especially now with the upheaval caused by the novel coronavirus, we seem to be living in a blizzard of change. All we can see swirling about us are the effects of the storm: confusion, struggle, hardship, fear. We don’t know when this crisis will end: the future is obscured from our sight.
But as believers we need to remember that none of this is a surprise to God. He views our globe from the vantage point of eternity. He knows that this blizzard is temporary. In fact, where God sits in Heaven, there’s no storm at all: the sun is shining, and there’s a certainty that God has everything under control.
Because we humans can only perceive what’s before our eyes, it’s hard for us to understand that there’s more going on in this world than we can physically see. From our perspective, the world seems to be beset with calamities that appear to be random. But there is a guiding hand underpinning these events: there is nothing outside of God’s control.
The Biblical story of the prophet Elisha and his servant illustrates this idea well. In 2 Kings 6:13-17, we’re told of a time of tumult and upheaval. The nation is at war, and the enemy king has received intelligence of where Elisha can be found: the city of Dothan. The king surrounds the city by night with a great army, including numerous horses and chariots, intending to seize Elisha.
When Elisha’s servant gets up early the next morning and discovers that they’re surrounded, he’s terrified. He asks Elisha, “What are we to do?”
Elisha replies, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
I imagine that the servant might have thought that Elisha was crazy. The man could only see enemy soldiers surrounding them, no one else. What on earth was Elisha talking about?
But then Elisha prays, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.”
And a miracle occurred. God opened the eyes of the servant, so that he could see what Elisha already saw. The man was suddenly able to see that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha, a mighty heavenly army ready to protect them.
When the servant used only his physical eyes to look at his situation, he felt that they were doomed: all he could see were hostile forces surrounding them. But there was more going on than he could perceive. Once he was able to see things from God’s perspective, he realized that the enemy forces were in fact outnumbered: it was they who would be put to shame. For God’s people, there was actually nothing to be afraid of: their Heavenly Father had it all under control.
Maybe you feel like you’re living inside a snow globe right now. Frightening events are swirling around you, and you can’t see anything beyond that. It might look like all hope is lost.
But for the believer in God, there’s more going on than we can perceive. We can only see what’s inside our little bubble: we can’t see the heavenly forces acting on our behalf.
For those who trust in God, there’s no reason to fear distressing tidings. Psalm 112:7 says of those who fear the Lord:
“They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.”
When storms are besetting your life, trust in God. He has you, and the globe on which we live, in the palm of His hand.
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.