woman standing on beach watching birds

Look at the Birds

The Collide blog has become a community of voices that includes counselors, pastors, mentors, teachers, speakers, and everyday women, all with a message of hope, courage, and a walk toward healing. Laurie Polich Short spoke at our event this past February and we invited her to share her message here on how a shift in perspective can make all the difference, and lead to the place God calls us to be. We hope this story meets you in yours…

On a recent two day getaway on the Cambria, California coastline, I looked up and saw some birds flying in the wind. What caught my attention was the way they were flying- their wings stayed perfectly still, and they let the wind carry them where it wanted them to go. Look at the birds, God whispered, and immediately I thought of the Collide event I spoke at in February. The event invited us to see the worry and anxiety we carry when we are focused on the wrong things.

Like the birds, we can rest in God’s care and let Him carry us; or we can continually fret about what will happen to us or where we will go. The Great I AM is with us and it’s in the present that He wants us to be. We can beat our wings and try to forge our own course, or let God take us where He wants us to be. Look at the birds, God whispers, and let them speak to the way you live your life.

Seeing those birds also reminded me that God gives us evidence all the time of His trust and faithfulness, but we have to look at what He wants us to see. I wrote a book about how our focus shapes our lives called When Changing Nothing Changes Everything—and in it, I talk about four lenses that give us vision for what God wants us to see:

The big view is when you pull back from the current scene of your life and realize that what is happening now is part of a bigger story. Like the birds, you can rest that God’s Spirit is carrying you to what is next, and also know that it is where you need to be. At times, you may feel like you are at the end of your story, with a loss or disappointment or unfulfilled dream… but you are only in the middle. God is taking you on the journey; letting Him lead you is your act of trust.

The present view is seeing what God has for you right now. With your eyes on the present, you can ride the next gust of wind your Heavenly Father wants you to take. You may be focused on a certain direction you want your life to take, but He may have another way He wants you to go. Birds have an unforced rhythm and follow what happens. How does that flight pattern speak to your life?

The rear view is where we look when we want to gain confidence, because when we look back, we always see more of what God did. This confidence should fuel our ability to ride God’s wind into our future, rather than stressing about things that God already knows we need. The rear view also builds our trust on God’s faithfulness- not that we will always get what we want, but that we will always get what God wants for us. That opens our eyes to the last lens, which leads us into the God-centered perspective we need.

The higher view shows us that we are not the center of our story. So instead of seeking the things we want, we seek God’s kingdom and righteousness for what He wants instead (Matthew 6:38). God’s story is bigger than ours and involves more people, more needs, and more circumstances than we can see in our current vision. You may be clinging to your small story, but God may have a bigger and better story for you ahead. Let this picture breathe faith and trust into your heart as you let go and trust Him.

 

For those who are interested, Laurie has a new 8 week small group study that goes with her book which can help with your trust in God’s plan for your life. It can be found on Right Now Media or her website: laurieshort.com/books-videos

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