So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
– Joshua 21:43-45
Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; point of view. Many of our habits, ways, and values are based upon our perspectives, those of which have been shaped primarily by our life experiences and how we see them; a certain thing, how we look at the world. As I sat at my father’s funeral I searched for reasons to cry and stories to repeat so I could show the emotion my siblings were showing, and I couldn’t. I couldn’t muster up anything. I kept feeling that people were saying “How empty and insensitive of you Natosha.” That is your father, he gave you life, but then what? I didn’t have memories of him teaching me to ride my bike or that time he scared the first guy to come and take me on a date. What I have are a lot of nevers and no shows. I had a horrible father, a very absent parent. I knew he loved me but he was never there. Ever. This was my truth and however harsh it may be, this is what I seen lying there. That was my total perspective before February 27th 2017. I realized that the beautiful life I have experienced and the influence I have been able to give to the world was not just by chance. As the word says in Romans 8 verse 28: “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” I love the Lord and I know where I have been and where I am now; been in out of His purposes and somehow, someway everything has worked for my good.
In a moment I decided to change my perspective and search for the good promises the Lord has given me. Did He fulfill His promise? No, I didn’t have the perfect father, but if it weren’t for him I would have had two sets of amazing grandparents. How many of my peers can say they had four fantastic, strong, Christ loving and obeying grandparents. I could be with either set and and would have had the same experience. Rules, standards, and expectations were always the same.
Wow…. How blessed was I.
I was able to learn about the Lord with old school rebuke and seasoned love….My father was the vessel to get me to them. Many of my ways and parenting skills came from them, not books. My recipes and ways to clean came from them. One thing I really, really cherish is my love of the hymn choir – it came from their over 50 years of them being on the hymn choir and having to be in church every time the door was opened. As I continued to sit there, I experienced rest finally in my forgiveness of my past hurts from my father. Unforgiveness was an enemy of mine and I defeated it when I changed my perspective. Scratch that, a new level of forgiveness. I had forgiven him to his face but I had never praised him for what he did right. His parents may have been coming to see him in prison but he made sure they picked me up. Every time. Those rides were classic and shifting my perspective let me see just how much God loved me for giving that experience through my father. And with that shift of perspective I have been able to possess the land my father left for me.
Contributed by: Natosha Stewart
Natasha is a resident of North Carolina. She is the proud mother of two sons, a successful stylist of 25 years and owner of Charlotte Hair Therapist. She is a faithful covenant partner of The Sanctuary. She’s a passionate and zealous woman of many talents who is eager to share her wisdom and knowledge with those who are seeking to radiate the glory and beauty of God from the inside out. If this devotional has fed your soul, please share with your friends and family. Click the social share button or leave a comment in the box below for Natosha.