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Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of  joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more.  Psalms 16:11

Different Perspectives

By Ron & Vicky Broadfield

“Has there ever been a time when you and someone in your family had a very different perspective about the same situation?...”


            Has there ever been a time when you and someone in your family had a very different perspective about the same situation?  As an example:  I send my daughter in to pick up her very messy room.  She reports (much later) that she is finished (notice I said “she” is finished, not the room).  I go inspect the room and find it still messy.  I ask her how she can think the room is done when the room is still messy.  She thinks since she has spent so much time in there, and picked up some things, the room is finished.  When I tell her it needs more work, she wails, “It’s too hard, I can not do it!”  We have two totally different ideas about cleaning a room.

            Another example is when Ron and I were looking at purchasing a home.  One house in particular sounded very good in the write-up, so with great anticipation, we went to look at it.  I came away very disappointed and puzzled by Ron’s excitement.  Finally, it came out.  “Wasn’t that a great garage?!”  I could not believe it.  “Didn’t you see the kitchen?”  I asked in disbelief.  “It was awful.  It had termite damage and the whole thing was in terrible condition.  It is too big a project and too expensive for us to take on.”  “Yes, but did you see that garage!?”  It was obvious we had two completely different points of view.

            In the Gospels we find an exciting account of Jesus feeding 5,000 men plus women and children with only five loaves and two fishes (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:32-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-14).  We also find a story of two conflicting points of view.  Jesus had a perspective and solution for the situation, but the disciples had a very different one.

            A multitude of people had followed Jesus into a deserted place where He spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed their sick.  Jesus saw the peoples’ needs as being sheep without a shepherd and was moved with compassion on them (Mark 6:34).  The disciples saw the needs of the people as being tired and hungry.  Jesus’ solution was to have the people sit and He would feed them.

The disciples’ solution was to send the people walking so they could go find food for themselves since they could not possibly feed so many.  The disciples were looking at the solution through their limited abilities, not through the power of the Son of God, even though they had witnessed many other miracles performed by Jesus.

            The disciples stated the obvious.  They told Jesus it is getting late and the people need to eat (as if the Creator of the universe did not already know this!).  Then, the disciples tell Him what to do – send the people away!  How audacious!  Yet, don’t we do the same thing?  There are times when we may have opinions that do not line up with God.  I may tell the Lord it is hard to homeschool a challenging child, the task is too big.  Or, I cannot do such and such, so, this is what I think He should do to remedy the situation.  Similar to the disciples, I am looking at my own limited abilities and not the power of God.

            The only correct point of view is God’s.  I need to line up my thinking with His.  I need to remember: nothing is impossible with God; He will enable me to do what He has planned; reading God’s Word and praying will help me think Biblically.  Examining the steps that Jesus used in this situation will also help me when seeking solutions.  First, Jesus evaluated the situation and determined the need.  He then evaluated the resources (we need to make what we have available to God).  Jesus organized the people into groups of 50 and 100, and then He prayed.

            Last week I was frustrated with some areas of teaching my daughter in both academics and character issues.  She just was not getting it.  So, I sat with paper, pen in hand, and asked the Lord to pinpoint the exact need, evaluate what resources I had available, and organize my thoughts so I could present it to her in an orderly manner.  How thankful I was when with His help, I was able to arrive on a solution that worked.

            Scripture does not tell us what the disciples felt or thought when the Lord gave them instructions in this passage.  However, it does tell us they obeyed apparently without mumbling, complaining, or argument.  What a good example for our children and us!  May we ask the Lord to see situations from His perspective and be accepting of His solutions.