See the Forest for the Trees

It’s been a loooooooong five days…

Potty training twins has been interesting, to put it mildly. As predicted, one caught on more quickly than the other. Also as predicted, the other followed suit shortly after.

Before you think I’m dramatic, please don’t deduce that I don’t recognize potty training isn’t a devastating or life altering event. It’s been a challenging little blip. As are most seasons and phases we walk through. I’m merely using what I have experienced these past several days to convey my thought, so stick with me.

There I was, smack dab in the middle of my hardest day with the girls: pee on my floors and number twos anywhere but inside the potty. My sister, in her perfect timing, shared with me a great thought that really got me thinking. She reminded me to not forget to see the forest for the trees.

It’s a widely known saying. Sometimes we are unable to see situations as they actually are while we are in the center of them. We lose our perspective (in my case, my patience…and possibly a little bit of my mind) when we are heavily invested in a particular situation, issue, or really anything that draws us in and seems like it will last forever.

Lost in our own emotions, we lose focus on the bigger picture. Bogged down in a myriad of bothersome details, we can’t hone on and see things for what they really are….kinda like being lost in an actual forest…Panic would set in initially. I’m fairly certain all the trees would most likely look pretty similar. They aren’t easy to differentiate. Focusing on the trees rather than the forest would mean wasting a lot of time wandering aimlessly from tree to tree.

When we are in the thick of something difficult, we just can’t seem to see our own thoughts clearly, can we? We can’t think straight. That’s how we know when we are in the middle of the forest. And sometimes it sure feels thick.

It’s hard, isn’t it? When we’re so closely woven into a situation, deep in the trenches, all we can see is the step right in front of us. But if we can train ourselves to pause and take a step back, we can climb one tree to see over the top of the others. This enables us to make a rational, and Godly decision in whatever we are facing.

There’s a take away in this for anyone, regardless of what you might be in the middle of. It’s not a complex thought, and I wondered if it might even be too simple to share. Then I realized it resonated too well with me for me to NOT share it.

Whatever overwhelming situation you might find yourself in: Potty training (like me), or something far more complex such as a loss, or heart break, or a difficult change…Remember, if you look right in front of you, you’ll probably be facing a giant redwood.

Stop. Take a step back. And visualize the forest instead. Know that God can see beyond the redwood and navigate us through to where He wants us to be.

Keep in mind that our God is so big, so strong, so mighty and good, that even the biggest issue that we face won’t seem so big if we put our trust and faith into His capable hands.

It’s hard to see past that big ol’ tree in front of us sometimes. But God can see it. And knowing that He knows….?? Well, that helps me to know that I don’t always have to see the forest, as long as I remember that He can.

I’d rather be in the palm of Your hand

Though rich or poor I may be.

Faith can see right through the circumstance

Sees the forest in spite of the trees.

Your grace provides for me.

(Lyrics to song by Alison Krauss, In the Palm of Your Hand)

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