Take a clean, white piece of paper and with a pen or pencil make a dot right in the middle of it. Show it to someone and ask them “What do you see?”
More than likely, they will say “A black dot.” Rather than seeing a white piece of paper with a small dot on it, their eyes will be riveted on the dot.
Why is this? Because our eyes are trained for it. As we constantly scan the landscape of our lives, we become more and more adept at recognizing those things that are out of place. It’s a survival skill.
I would suggest the same is true as we process events and circumstances that come our way. We are always on the lookout for “black dots,” or unwanted situations that, in our perception, do not belong in the picture. The problem is that once the black dot appears, it may be the only thing that we see. We no longer recognize the white piece of paper in the background, which in proportion, is so much greater and more beautiful than the black dot.
May I also suggest that in comparison to the difficult things that you and I face today, the goodness and grace of God is like that white piece of paper? Yes, adversity is real and can be overwhelming, but if we take a moment to zoom out and get perspective, we will then recognize that the hard things are but mere dots in proportion to the grace that God lavishes on us every day.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
In Jesus, God has given us His best and His only that we might have life in the fullest sense of the word. And it that weren’t enough, He continues to give us more and more grace every day to sustain us, especially in times of need. Like that piece of paper, God’s grace creates a background so expansive it sometimes goes unnoticed.
So, as you look at your life, what do you see? No doubt, there’s a black dot here and there. But is that all?
In this season of gratitude, let’s ask God to help us notice the good things and give Him thanks.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.