Perspective

This is the view from my laundry line today.

Tall maples in bright sunshine - contemplating the value of perspective at RivenJoiner.com!
Tall maples in bright sunshine - contemplating the value of perspective at RivenJoiner.com!

It’s lovely. I really don’t get tired of looking at it. Tall trees, dappled shade, gentle breezes, floating butterflies and scampering chipmunks…

And there are so many, many times when I stand at my laundry line, stringing out clothes, letting my thoughts drift over God’s word and God’s will and this world and my life, and I am struck by something I hadn’t quite thought of before.

Today, I thought about perspective.

A memory drifted across my thoughts from a post I read months ago…Someone’s dryer had broken suddenly, and it wouldn’t be repaired for a little while. As a result, they were going to be air-drying laundry for a family-of-five for a few days. And their perspective was, “Satan’s really attacking me, but I’m not going to let it get me down! I’m still going to finish the work the Lord has for me to do!”

So that’s one perspective.

And then I thought about how I have been hand-washing and air-drying laundry for a family-of-five for a few years now. I wash our laundry by hand in the sink and hang it to dry over the stove in the winter and on the laundry line in the spring, summer and fall. All the laundry. That’s shorts and T-shirts. That’s flannel-lined Carhartt work pants. That’s winter-coats and snow-gear. That’s beach towels and blankets and area rugs. Ideally, I do laundry 5 days a week, although when things are busy, I often squeak by with 3 or 4 days a week by doing two loads on some days. And our family used to have a regular, suburban lifestyle, and we used to have a washer and dryer, and you can actually still buy those things here in Maine, but here I am, hand-washing and air-drying, anyway. And from my perspective, Satan’s not attacking me at all in this! It’s just simply one of the works that the Lord has for me to do at this time in my life. There are times when it’s hard, and my arms are sore or my shoulders or wrists ache or I’m tired or I feel like there’s no way I can keep up…But in those moments, I remember that since this in the work the Lord has for me to do, He will help me complete it, and I remember to look around at the view from my laundry line and praise Him for His goodness!

So that’s a different perspective.

Same activity. Just doing some laundry by hand for a large-ish family. Different perspectives. Attack of the enemy. Work assigned by the Lord.

Which one is correct?

And there, in the dappled sunshine beneath a slow-moving laundry line, I realized that they are both correct, and that’s life!

When the dryer fails, we can certainly say the enemy is attacking us. In fact, the enemy is always attacking us. It’s his very nature. We can literally say this about anything that happens to us at any time. Sin is always corrupting and the enemy is always attacking.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…

(1 Peter 5:8, KJV)

At the same time, God is always working all things to the good of His eternal kingdom. It’s in His very nature. As we walk in the Lord, we can literally remember this about anything that happens to us at any time. Grace is always abounding and God is always redeeming.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

(Romans 8:28, KJV)

So both perspectives are true, but I realized (at my laundry line) that it’s so important to step from one perspective to the next!

If we are in the Lord, every work that we do in this life has been prepared in advance for us since before we were born. If we are in the Lord, every attack of the enemy is only another opportunity to do another work for the Lord.

We thought that we were working for the Lord and then the devil de-railed our work for Lord by breaking the dryer. Now, we can certainly give sin and Satan credit for the dryer breaking…

But in the Lord, our work is never de-railed ~ it only switches tracks!

Now, instead of the work we were previously doing for the Lord, we’re just doing laundry by-hand for the Lord.

Getting attacked by the enemy. And doing the Lord’s work. And then getting attacked by the enemy. And then doing the Lord’s work.

The truth is, the enemy can’t do one single thing in our lives that prevents any work that we were doing for the Lord – because the very thing he causes us to have to do instead is immediately the very thing the Lord has prepared for us to do for Him!

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 

(Colossians 3:23-24, KJV)

And this is a great reminder for me. Because there is not a day that goes by without something I was planning to do being side-lined by something else I wasn’t planning to do. But God was always expecting all of it! He was expecting the weeding to be interrupted by the cooking, and the cooking to be interrupted by the errand, and the sewing to be interrupted by the teaching, and the teaching to be interrupted by the cleaning. He was expecting the bowl to hit the floor and He was expecting the internet to go out and He was expecting the frost and the drought and the re-seeding. Nothing is ever lost. It may seem frustrating to me at the time. But that is exactly the time to remember that it’s all just work for the Lord! That is exactly the time to remember that I can be just as cheerful cleaning up the mess as I was cooking the meal or running the errand or re-planting the seeds.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

(Colossians 3:17, KJV)

Because if God is so gracious as to let it be all the same to Him, the least I can do is let it be all the same to me!

by Sydney Michalski

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