“How short you have made my life! In your sight my lifetime seems nothing”.
Ps 39:5 GNB
It is sometimes said of some people that “they have an exaggerated opinion of their own importance”. In fact most of us think we are more important than we really are. And we think we are being objective and fair in this opinion, although we observe people from within the perspective of our own narrow viewpoint.
The psalmist who wrote Psalm 39 had been going through an awful time. A long and painful illness had robbed him of much of his superficial view of many things. We get these ideas when things go well and when we are successful, forgetting that we are in God’s hands. But the trauma he had gone through had brought some home truths home (!) to the poet. Adversity of any kind tends to deepen one’s view of life in general and of one’s self in particular. The awareness and fear that his ongoing suffering might cut short his days showed him that he was not the most significant person in the world at all. He had learnt this in dialogue with God and had come to see that he was just an ordinary mortal, like anyone else.
Seeing life from God’s point of view is a sobering experience. Seeing how great God is, and how small you are in relation to God, is a massive growth in insight and self-knowledge. It happened to the prodigal son in the parable Jesus told. He “came to himself”.
Do the same. Come down a peg or two and see yourself as God sees you. But remember he also sees the potential in you and longs to bring it to full fruition.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, help me to see myself as you do.