"The Bigger Picture"

There comes a time when we realize

That we're not on this earth for our own pleasure.

When we see that what we've given, not received

Is the reed that will be used to exact our measure.

We are but a slender thread

In the fabric of God's grand design.

The sooner we come to realize that,

The sooner we can walk in His purpose divine.

Then when things come our way to try us,

It is easier to get up and continue to stand,

When we know that nothing happens by chance

Or beyond God's knowledge--it's all part of His plan.

I had to learn through my pain

And suffering, that it's not all about me,

But there was a bigger picture,

                                                                      That as of yet, I was not able to see. 

                                                                      Each day, it unfolds just a little bit more, 

                                                                      And little by little, I understand why,

                                                                      Why things in my life transpired like they did,

                                                                      And it seemed like my whole world had gone awry.

                                                                      Sometimes to build up, you must first tear down,

                                                                      And it seems that's what God was doing to me:

                                                                      Tearing down walls of excess and debris,

                                                                      And building a new person sturdy and free.

                                                                      Yes, when we go through, we don't always see

                                                                      Why things aren't always as we plan, 

                                                                      But when we give our agenda to God,

                                                                      And see the bigger picture, then we'll understand.

--Vickie E. Johnson

Love Letters to God: a Book of Psalms for the 21st Century, p. 95