Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How big is your picture?

Human nature is finite as is our natural comprehension of life and all that goes with it. When life throws us curves it is our natural tendency to react with anxiety and fear. That's normal.

This morning I'll sit at a table and peer out over the Atlantic Ocean. A relatively few miles away will be the extent of my ability to see. The horizon in my sight is the limit. But I know that the ocean goes much farther to my east - all the way to other lands in Europe and Africa. I just can't see them. It was that limited vision that brought our forefathers to the conclusion that the earth was flat, and that if you ever hit that edge of the world you would fall off.

How silly is that theory to us today? But it was a real, natural conclusion because of their limited sight and experience. Then one day a "new world" was discovered and the fear of falling from a flat earth was vanquished by new vision and the experience of standing on a previously unseen soil.

How is it that Nathan and Tricia can hear the words "cancer" and "lymphoma" and not have their spirits plummet into angst? When people ask me and I tell them and then say, "But this is just a bump in their road", they look at me like I'm nuts. It's the "C word for Pete's sake!".

That depends on the size of your picture; on whether or not you think the boundaries of your ability to see are the edge of your world or that there are new worlds to discover. Tricia and Nathan's picture has been greatly enlarged by two factors: faith and experience. They've gone over the horizon more than once, trusting in Someone whose vision is infinite to lead them. And they've discovered that however fearful that next step may be, there is a new world beyond what they can see.

Don't let the horizons in your sight fool you. Hoist the sails, take the risks and turn over the wheel to the Pilot who sees eternally.

The picture is bigger than you think.


Christy said...

Thanks! I needed this today. I am a little bummed, I can't say different. I am encouraged. I had the same attitude in dealing with cancer. Speaking of attitude, I have not had the best one lately. I have cut the picture down to the size of a profile picture. Your posts seem to be right on right now. God is amazing. He can make things happen in ways that you never think of. Thanks for letting God use you as a vessel.

Barb said...

Beautiful word pictures to explain Tricia and Nathan's current situation. Also good thoughts for us to ponder. Our 18-yr-old daughter will spend her first college semester abroad (thru a program at a Christian college) and people ask us, "aren't you nervous for her; how will she adjust, etc, etc?" Yes, she is going "beyond the horizon," but I know Who holds her future. Thanks, Rick.

Debbie said...

Thanks Rick.
I can always use a reminder that
our Lord sees the tapestry of our lives when some times all we can see are the single treads.
Have a beautiful day.

marcia said...

Wow! You must be a real "morning person" to crank out stuff this good at 6:00 A.M.! :) Very well said, Rick! I'm praying for these words to have a life-changing impact on some who visit here.

Jenn said...

Wow, I needed to hear this. I'll also pass it along to my sister who's undergoing her 3rd round of chemo for lymphoma today. What a powerful message! And sometimes when we're having a hard time seeing past the horizon, fearing that this is it for us, I ask him to "lead me to the rock that is higher than I." From there, wonderful views can be seen way beyond the storms ahead.

God is using you Lawrensons! Thank you for letting Him!


Tricia said...

Thanks! I think reading this and Nate's blog only reaffirms my need to keep on keeping on. I have surgery on June 25 to raise my eyelids because of the damage that was done to a nerve during brain surgery to remove a tumor in January 07. Every day is a new day to give Christ the glory and ride the bumps on life until He returns. Thanks for the reminder. I needed it to face this next surgery. I will be praying, as always, for Nate and Tricia and the whole family.

Tricia :)

Kerry said...

Thanks for that Rick. Sometimes God gives us a picture that seems overwhelming. Then he places many in it to care and encourage us over the hurdles.
As a long time survivor of Lymphoma of a different kind. As we educated ourselves and learned about it. It wasn't as scary as it first was. God put many in our paths who did that for us. We just soaked it up knowing He was working in our behalf.
We are praying for Nate and Tricia.


Kristen said...

Thats a good post! Thanks for clearing it up for all of us!

Emily said...

The perspective that you and your family (especially Nate and Tricia) have is so inspiring. You all make me choose to look at life a little differently. Thank you all for sharing your life with the world, it is making a difference. We continue to pray for you guys daily.

Tammy C said...

Thanks for the encouragment today.I can't even imagaine what Nate and Tricia are experiencing.

Right now I am going through a hard time as my husband is unemployed for the 5th time in 2 years.The bills don't go away!

concernedSBCer said...

Excellent post. Thanks for the encouragement. Behind every face is a struggle, a hurt, of some kind. How we choose to deal with it is what makes us different.


Karen in TN

Judy said...


Great photograph too. Wishing I was seeing the sun rise over America from a beach in NC.

AJ in Northbrook

JonesFam4 said...

Hmmm. WE're starting a new sermon series here, Fabric. Its about how to weave the stuff of life and its based on Joseph's life. You cannot see the fabric when you're looking at each strand, but when you step back it can be beautiful. Perspective. Eternal perspective. Something to yearn for and pray for, daily. Thanks for the reminder. Again the Holy Spirit hits me over the head from a few different directions :)

Coffespaz said...

That was beautiful, something that I wondered myself since Nate seems to be taking the news so well.

They are a strong pair and are so blessed to have such a wonderful support system behind them.

I'll link my post to this thread, as it is a beautiful sentiment and just what I needed to hear myself today.

John and Michelle said...

Very well put. Good words. Thanks. And needed. I'm upset that this is happening to them and they seem so "well". All I can say is it HAS to be God in their hearts and lives. Thanks for the words. I needed them.