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Big Pictures Don’t Fit in Small Frames


Isn’t it funny how the things we once found so endearing in someone become our biggest pet-peeves?  The way they crinkled their nose is now an annoying tick. The tapping of a foot to music now sounds like excruciatingly loud stomping. The once cute rubbing of a chin now makes you want to ask- “do you have an itch you need to see a doctor about?!”

A good friend lovingly pointed out to me recently that I hum the same non-descript tune when I’m walking around in a store…any store.  I didn’t believe her until I did it one day, and she announced, “There it is!”  She- at least at this point- is not annoyed by this habit, so until she stops shopping with me, I will keep on humming.

This phenomenon made me start wondering if God is ever annoyed by the habits we create in our lives.  I whole-heartedly believe that God gives each of us gifts, talents, purpose, and even personality.  I also believe that left unchecked those things…those good things… He put in us can suddenly become very annoying, and maybe even detrimental to ourselves or others.

I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist.  The good thing God put in me is the desire to work hard, and do my best.  If God were human- which of course He’s not- He may look at my work ethic and think that is so endearing, but then later find that my perfectionism drives Him crazy!  (What does it matter if the toilet paper comes off the roll over the top or underneath?!)

This good thing that God put in me is tainted when I am not exercising that thing in the Spirit.  The minute I move to working in the flesh, the VERY thing that was good is now awful.

Need another example?  God gave me the gift of connectedness.  I see how things connect, which in the Spirit, makes me a good teacher.  In the flesh, I’m not only forcing things to connect that really don’t, I’m bossy and a know-it-all.

It’s all like trying to fit a big picture in a small frame.  I can shove it in, I can fold it, and I can even try cutting it.  The reality is that big pictures don’t fit in small frames, and trying to make them fit just ruins them.  A beautiful picture in the wrong frame is…just wrong.

God gives us the frame in which to exercise the good gifts He’s put in us.  When we’re fitting ourselves in the frame of His Spirit…when we’re working in the Spirit, there is life and there is beauty.  Why would we confine ourselves to work in the smallness of our flesh when we have the freedom to live and work in the bigness of His Spirit?!  Endearing, beautiful, lovely things remain that way when they are framed perfectly…by His hand.

Romans 8:9-15 ~ “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.” 

Penny Harrison

About the Author

Penny Harrison is a mom, friend, writer, Children’s Pastor, and lover of a good cup of coffee. (Not always in that order). She is passionately in love with God and His Word. Penny’s calling is to help others come to know Jesus for themselves, to discover how God’s Word applies to their lives, and to see how God reveals Himself to us in the everyday things we experience. Penny lives in Atlanta and currently serves as Children's Pastor at Stonebridge Church in Marietta, GA. You can hear more from Penny at her blog http://pennyharrison.blogspot.com/