Recently I heard a pastor tell a story about a women’s conference whose promoters sold more tickets than the venue had seats available. To compensate, they brought in hundreds of rented chairs that were neither sturdy nor comfortable. The women from his church became angry about the situation, and their complaints grew louder and more frequent as the conference progressed—until the last day, when Joni Eareckson Tada rolled up to the mic and said, “I hear some of you are not happy with the chairs you’ve been given.” Needless to say, the atmosphere changed immediately. It’s amazing what a little perspective can do for our souls.
The Scriptures are full of stories about the disciples’ frequent need for a change in perspective. Think of the disciples shooing the children away from Jesus until he explains that “the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:13-16). Think of James and John trying to secure positions of power before fully understanding the cost of such a request (Mark 10:35-45). Think of the disciples in a boat fretting about drowning before watching Jesus calm the wind and the waves with a simple command (Mark 4:35-41).