Can’t See The Forest For The Trees

Have you ever been guilty of this or said it about someone else? Usually it’s said in sarcasm, frustration, or as a joke. I think it is easy to find ourselves being the ones who can’t see the forest for the trees.

We get together weekly with a group of friends to study the bible, enjoy each others company and of course share some food. Our weekly meetings are always on Thursday they start at 7, and we don’t have a time limit. They usually last at least three hours and during that time we have a lot of discussions, and sometimes we are very passionate about our subjects. Our group has been meeting more than five years now and we have an amazing bond and great love for each other. The past few months we have been looking at “radical Christianity.” We certainly don’t have all the answers nor do we have all of the ways one can be a radical Christian. We do get pretty radical in our discussions at times. (Yes, I’m smiling.)

That brings me to today’s thoughts on the subject. Was Lot’s wife guilty of not being able to “see the forest for the trees”? They were told to “flee for their lives” and told “don’t look back”. One might take note too that Lot was hesitant in heeding the warning to flee. Gen 19:16-17 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.  As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

Gen 19:26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
I wonder, why did Lot’s wife look back? Was it out of curiosity, unbelief, sadness of leaving her possessions and her home, or was it disobedience? I wonder if I would have looked back.

When I consider the following scriptures I see how history repeats itself—- Luke 17:26-35 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”

Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” Her heart seemed to be on what she was leaving behind, not where she was going. God showed his mercy and his grace and she looked back.

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Notice the sins mentioned in the ‘things’ of the world. We have to live in the world, yet the desires of our heart are to be focused on God and his ways.

I apologize for the length of this post; I just had to share what is on my heart with you today. I will close with one of my favorite verses; this one is from The Message.

Rom 12:1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I pray I don’t get distracted by the trees.

3 comments for “Can’t See The Forest For The Trees

  1. Meowmix
    March 9, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    There are so many trees…………..

  2. Jackie Ringler
    March 9, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Hi Janice, you’re on a roll! Thanks for the reminder, like when we usually question God’s rules; He always has a reason for them. Some people learn the hard way.

    Thanks Jackie! I think I’m one of the ones who learned many things the hard way. 🙂

  3. March 9, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Good post, Janice. Especially for around here since today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) and things in New Orleans are ratcheted up with partying, etc. As with other things of this world, even Mardi Gras is what you make of it. A lot of families and children are down there, too, in the neighborhoods sections away from the French Quarter and Bourbon Street.

    I’m going to “borrow” your last scripture to post on my FB wall! I like that, although overall I do not care for the Message at all.

    Have a good day!

    Thank you Dee!
    I have never been to Mardi Gras. I probably wouldn’t like it as I don’t like large crowds, especially if they get rowdy. 🙂 I would like the good food aspect of it though!

    You are always welcome to borrow from my blog, especially words of encouragement.

    I’m always glad to have you stop by.

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