I was painting the other day (after our recent historic blizzard) and the piece was just not coming together. I finally realized that the problem was me– I was looking at the painting so closely that I had lost all perspective on the big picture.
Like grass buried beneath a blizzard, I was tangled up beneath the weight of all the minute details.That’s when I remembered some wise advice I received from another artist many years ago: When you get stuck, stop and look away from the painting.
There are lots of ways to do this. Leave the room and comeback. Turn the painting face down, wait a while, then come back to it. Prop the painting up on an easel and glance at it as you walk by for a few days.
It always amazes me how looking away at other things can help me renew my perspective on the painting when I finally look back at it again.
If you have a need, a problem, a concern that’s weighing heavy on your heart today, could it be that you need to look away from it for a few moments?
The LORD is so gracious to provide us a place to “look away to” in order to renew our perspective: the Bible. The older I get, I’m finding the Psalms to be a place of great comfort and hope amidst life storms.
Here’s a little prayer that may help you gain a new perspective on your problem today as you look to Psalm 121:
Lord, I’ve been consumed with thinking about _____ lately. It’s been weighing heavy on my heart and overtaking my thoughts. I choose, right now, to look away from _____ and look to You for a new perspective.
I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. –Psalm 121:1-2
Thank you for giving me steady footing as I face___, because I can trust you to be with me 24/7.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. –Psalm 121-3-4
Thank you for watching over me and providing a protective covering for me and those I love, even in the midst of ___.
The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. —Psalm 121:5-8
Thank you that, even as I face ____, You promise to give me help right when I need it and, as I look to You, You strengthen and encourage me. Amen.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
In April 2011, Psalm 121 is the Scripture the LORD sustained me with the day I sat in front of my computer screen in Amarillo, watching live TV coverage of a tornado as it hit my beloved hometown of Tuscaloosa. It sustained me through the 16 hours when I knew my dad’s nursing home was hit by the storm yet we did not know if he had survived or not. It sustained me when he when to heaven six weeks later.
I hope that whatever life storm you may be facing today it sustains you as well.
When you feel overwhelmed, don’t forget to look away from the problem and look to His word. It reveals the beautiful wisdom of who the LORD is and how we can rest in Him. I can testify to the fact that doing this can give you a whole new perspective when life storms- even blizzards- are bearing down!