37. Our perspective, which is so limited by time and place and culture, also limits our understanding of GOd's necessary actions.

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. {Ecclesiastes 11:5}

Recently, I read this headline on social media: “Mother Throws Baby Out Fourth-Story Window.” Outraged, and against my better judgment (since I can’t stand stories of child abuse), I clicked on the link to read more about the story. As I read, my indignant outrage suddenly flipped like a coin, and I was flooded with admiration and love for the mother. (No doubt, this was the intended effect of leading with such a headline!)

The story wasn’t about an abusive mother. The story was about a mother who was trapped in a horrible building fire on the fourth story. There was no escape for her or her baby. Yet at the very last minute, when she knew they were both going to perish, she wrapped her baby up as best she could and threw her out the window. The baby survived with only a couple of scratches, while this heroic young mother died in the fire.

I was struck with how much my feelings about the mother’s actions changed when my perspective was altered. I went from feeling sorry for the baby to feeling sorry for the mother. I went from being angry at a person who would perpetrate child abuse to being wowed by the scary and selfless act of a young girl.

Often, when we read the Bible, our perspective on ancient events is just as limited as my perspective was when I had only read the headline of that story. We are separated by such time, distance, and culture—not to mention that we are incapable of reading the human heart!—that we can’t help but be at a terrible disadvantage in understanding many of God’s necessary actions in the past.

That’s one of the reasons I believe Jesus came—to clear up our perspective a bit, to give us a much better vision of who God is and what His priorities and motives are. Not so that we would somehow contrast the God of the New Testament with the God of the Old Testament and end up throwing out the evidence, but that we would be willing to trust the beautiful and loving heart of God when our limited perspective keeps us from understanding the evidence.

If you want to dig deeper—
Isaiah 40:28
Isaiah 44:19-20
Isaiah 55:9
Isaiah 57:1-2
Jeremiah 17:9-10
Jeremiah 33:3
Hosea 4:4-6
John 5:45-47
1 Corinthians 13:9-12
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Ephesians 1:17
Ephesians 6:12
Hebrews 12:11
1 Peter 5:8