The dictionary definition of perspective is (1) the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point. And (2) a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
One of the things that I like about being a pastor is how it keeps me grounded in reality. The situations that I encounter – typically relating to people and their problems – keeps things in perspective.
Relating to the first definition of perspective, ministry keeps me from becoming one-dimensional. Encountering the sometimes gut wrenching real-life struggles that people endure, gives me a more correct impression of the height, width, depth – and I would add length, of life. In short, ministry never ceases to give me eternal perspective.
Yesterday afternoon, on a spectacular sunshiny winter day, I traveled to a beautiful home in a somewhat exclusive neighborhood in Kennesaw, Georgia. There, I joined four of my colleagues, each a pastor at Apostles, as we ministered to a beautiful young women in her early 40s, who is dying of cancer. She has only been given a few months to live.
During our time there, we followed Jesus’ brother James advice; offering up prayers of faith. We anointed her head with oil and prayed, as she asked us to, for her healing. (James 5:13-16).
You might think that that kind of thing gets easier for a pastor over the years, but it doesn’t. It’s always agonizingly painful.
I don’t know what God’s will is for this young lady. I know that He can definitely heal her if He so chooses. But, He may not, for reasons we’ll never understand this side of Heaven.
But with that said, there’s one thing that I know for sure. Whether she lives another 3 weeks, or another 30 years, she will live again, with the Lord she loves throughout all eternity. And that, my friends, is the beauty of the gospel.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1