Psalm 73:11-12 “And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.”
A little boy was playing in his yard one day when he saw a line of ants carrying bits of a piece of sandwich that he had thrown to the ground days earlier. As they marched, he thought; “These ants are such a nuisance. They are stealing food and shouldn’t be allowed.” He thought it would be best just to squish them and remove them from his yard.
He began to press his thumb down on one ant and all of a sudden, he heard the voice say, “Please don’t kill us”. He thought he was mistaken. Ants can’t talk. So, he began to press his thumb down on another ant, and he heard very distinctly this time; “Hey you up there! I said, Please don’t kill us!”
It was unmistakable this time – he heard an ant talking to him. He looked closer and saw an ant standing on two of its six legs looking up right at him. He reached down with a twig nearby, and the any climbed up and began to speak. “Why would you want to kill us? We aren’t harming you in any way”.
Thus began a dialogue between the boy and the Ant.
The boy learned that the food he had discarded the other day, seemed small and insignificant to him. But, to the Ant, it represented food stores that would feed his entire town for weeks. They were just taking what he had tossed away and thought to use it for their good.
You see, the Ant represented many mouths to feed. The boy said, “If there are thousands more, why would you miss the one or two I just squished?”
The Ant exclaimed, “Those two ants you squished were my aunt and uncle on my mother’s side.””Don’t you have relatives that you would feel sorry if that happened to them?”
The boy was taken aback. He had never thought about it in that way. His Uncle Frank and Aunt Edna were quirky to be sure. But, to see a hand come from nowhere and squish them dead? Well, that just wouldn’t do!
The boy began to see that his one little act of squishing an ant changed this little ant’s whole world.
There are always two sides to every story.
Often, we fail when listening to someone as they relate to us their tale of woe. We can hear such things from them that would drive us to take action on their behalf. Yet, we need to step back and realize, it is but only one point of view.
You come upon two children fighting and stop both of them from coming to blows. “What happened here?’ In reply, you hear one say, “I was playing with that toy, and he came and just took it out of my hand!” Then the other exclaimed, “But, it is my toy and my mother is calling me. It’s time for supper, and I need to go home.”
The psalmist, Asaph, tells us his view of the world in which he was living. He saw the wicked eating food to the fill. He saw them have money and lands and wondered, “What about me?” “I am serving God, and I don’t have those things.”
We often become blinded in our view of this world in which we live. We can see others as a nuisance; just a stumbling block in the way to our success. We can look with eyes of envy and covetousness at their situation and circumstance and think, “What about me?”
Each and every child of God has a view that the lost do not have. We have a view of the bigger picture that some won’t see until it is too late. Asaph lamented over the riches, the opportunity and the seemingly good things happening to the wicked without justice or judgment. Then, God opened his eyes.
Psalm 73:16-17 “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”
We are wounded, hurt deeply by someone, and suddenly they become our enemy where once they were known as our friend. We lash out in anger and say things; hurtful things. We speak words that cut deeply and express the hurt we are feeling.
A convicted felon tries to reenter life after paying his debt to society only to find that he is labeled forever by those around him. He is shunned, disrespected, excluded, talked about, belittled. He’s the topic of gossip among coworkers – that is if he can find a job.
A sex offender, former prostitute, gang member, bank robber, car thief, or a rebellious child all have stepped out of what we might consider a ‘normal’ life. How can they return and make it right? Who can they turn to? Who will bridge the gap for them to cross over into that new life we all talk about?
We, the church, are called to such a one. To provide acceptance, love, and an opportunity to remake their life again. We have all been forgiven a great debt. God tells us to consider our debt when looking at others.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Our lives became transformed when we came to Christ. Do we believe that Christ can change one such as this? Our faith needs to be bigger than our perspective. If we cannot see beyond someone’s sinful past, we deny them the opportunity to make a new start – at least by our hand.
Someone saw us as lost in need of a Savior. Should we not be compassionate enough to do the same?