I once knew a man who was critical of his minister. He complained about the things that the minister did and didn't do. The minister tried to explain his reasons, but this person just couldn't see it.

This man then retired. He went off to get some training and then became a minister himself. It didn't work out very well. He came back to the original church very humble and very supportive of his minister. He had a whole new perspective after he had walked in the minister's shoes. He learned the meaning of the old saying, "Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes."

The thing is, sometimes you can't walk in their shoes. Sometimes a leader has a view of the "Big Picture" that others don't have. Without this larger view, others can't understand the leader's reasons for doing things. It would serve us well to realize this when we are so quickly critical of our leaders.

Ministers, business owners, and governmental leaders are often criticized for their decisions. If we saw the big picture, like they often do, we might be more understanding.

So, what should we do when we don't understand, appreciate, or agree with their decisions?

We can pray for them. We can trust them. We can even go to them with sincere concerns and see if they are able to explain their reasons. But even then, they sometimes can't explain all the reasons behind their decisions because of confidentiality.

On an even larger scale, God sees the "Big Picture." We must trust Him during times of adversity.

Is adversity because of sin? Possibly.

Is adversity God's discipline? Maybe.

Is adversity due to human error? Sometimes.

Is adversity simply due to living in a fallen and broken world? Frequently.

However, we also have to realize that adversity is sometimes a part of God's plan. (James 1:2-4) He allows adversity in our lives for our character formation and so that we will realize our dependency on Him. When we experience hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, mud slides, and other natural disasters, God is often at work in us through them or through their effects. We admit once again that we are totally dependent on Him. We recognize that others need our help in God's name. Even in the events that the evil one directly causes, God uses the situation to grow us and to call us to bless others. What was meant for disaster and harm, our Father can use to open the door of grace to others who don't know Him.

Without this larger view, others can't understand
God is God. He sees all — He knows the "Big Picture." We don't. We can pray. We can ask him what is going on. Like Job and many of the psalmists, we can even cry out to God in confusion and pain over what is happening. However, in the end, we need to trust Him to be at work in the situations in our life to bring our ultimate good and His ultimate Glory. (Romans 8:28-29)

Praise the LORD from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;

Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,

For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven. (Psalm 148:7-14 NKJV)