Do you know what this is?
It is a common, ordinary household dust mite. Did you know that these creatures exist by the millions in ordinary home carpet, bedding, and furniture, feasting on dead skin? You don’t see them because they are microscopic, but they are there. When you are shown what they look like…when they are magnified via electron micrograph, they seem TERRIFYING. HORRIFIC! We could get a good case of the heebie jeebies.
But in a few minutes, we will forget about them again. They will be incidental to us once again…this photo will be forgotten (I hope! LOL!) and we won’t be worrying about monster-sized dust mites.
It is easy to magnify our trials the way this dust mite has been magnified. Trials that truly are overwhelming become even more burdensome and fearsome when we magnify them. I am humbled when I consider the trial I am facing in comparison with the God of the Universe who called things that are not into being. The one who sustains the heart beats of every man, woman, child, and animal in this world. In comparison with this King, what I face, really is dust-mite size. I don’t mean to minimize what we are facing. Lord knows, that would hardly be fair. But I want to do what the psalmist says here:
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
– Psalm 34:4,5
God calls us to magnify HIM. Exalt HIM rather than the trial, circumstance, person, evil that we are facing. Look at that passage again (the one above). Answer these questions:
- What are WE to do in this passage?
- What is God going to do? (At least if he does for us what he did for the psalmist?)
But we have a choice. What will have our attention? Upon what will we fix our eyes? What will we choose to magnify?
It is interesting that we are encouraged to magnify the Lord, given the whole earth is already full of his glory (Isaiah 6:3)! WOW!
Elsewhere we are challenged:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (Emphasis added)
Step 1 of our process back on Monday was to CHOOSE. Those of you coming to this blog have been doing precisely that…CHOOSING. One of those choices has to do with choosing what we think. Sometimes what we think is determined by where we set our eyes (sometimes the mind’s eye…what we picture in our heads).
So, let me ask you a really practical question…and I ask myself, too.
- How often do I tell my “story”–the one about my trial (the circumstance or person or whatever-it-is) that I am struggling to deal with?
Aside from a very few close friends who can encourage me, pray with me, and give good biblical advice (and I mean a SMALL number…say 3 or less), I believe that each time I tell my story again, I am making it just a bit bigger. If I retell it–even just to myself–I am making it bigger and BIGGER and BIGGER. As I do that, I begin to believe the things that I am trying NOT to tell myself…that I will NEVER make it through this. That it is TOO huge for me to manage. That I am going to be BURIED by the pain of this. In fact, for ME, when I tell my story again and again, what I am really doing, if I am honest, is trying to get people to see how sad it is that this has happened to me…what a victim I am. Sometimes, I tell them this so they will feel badly for me. Or hate the person that has “done this to me.” Or so they will think so highly of me for handling it all so “nobly.” None of these things are helpful. Every time I tell my story (beyond a few trusted confidantes), I am exalting my trial. I am empowering the trial or the person through whom my trial comes. I am magnifying the dust mite.
Next week, we will be looking at truths that are WORTH speaking again and again. There is TRUTH that trumps whatever truth we may be facing in our trials.
1.) When tempted to tell about your trial to someone (or even to yourself) ask yourself (or the Lord) if it is necessary to do so. Then, choose, instead, to share with someone about Psalm 34:4,5. “I am facing something really challenging, but I choose to magnify the Lord today. I am going to exalt his name. Will you join me, friend? I will seek the Lord and I know he will answer me and deliver me from my fear.”
2.) Brainstorm a list (perhaps in the comments here) of practical ways you can CHOOSE to magnify the Lord. What does that mean to you personally? Pick one of the things you (or someone else may) list and do it.
3.) Memorize the Chris Tomlin song, Lay Me Down, by Monday!