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The Hillside Strangler

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Without fail, every time I fly, I am amazed at what I can see from the window of an airplane. Whether it is scenic mountains and lakes or large cities, I love to see the view from above the world.

I live about forty miles from Chicago and I drive the Chicago highways quite frequently. What a horrible mess they are. Often it takes two hours or more to get from one side of the city to the other. Many times I have sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic wondering what the problem is and promising myself that I will never drive that highway again. Yet, when I fly over the city I can see all of the highways at the same time. I can point out all of the trouble spots in just a few moments. I can see the bottlenecks, I can see the accidents. New perspective is gained.

If you have been through Chicago more than once, you have probably heard of the ‘Hillside Strangler’. It is a notorious section of highway near the town of Hillside where two interstates and a road merge into a single lane to enter the Eisenhower Expressway. It has long been dubbed one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the world. It will literally stop you dead in your tracks where you won’t be able to move for a long, long time. A few years ago they spent over a 100 million dollars to fix the problem. They widened the entrance to three lanes. However, after all of the time and money they spent to fix this, the traffic flow is only slightly better. People are just as frustrated as before. When you see this area from above, you can see that the congestion has only been pushed further east. The problem is easily seen from the sky, three lanes are not enough for this traffic merger, and they need more lanes stretched out over more distance. The estimated cost to rebuild this section of highway is now well over one billion dollars.

It is amazing how crystal clear the answers are when seen from above. The perspective one can receive from the skies is like receiving new revelation.

During a time of terrible persecution and uncertainty, the Apostle John was banished to the Isle of Patmos. There was no way out. Facing the darkest hours of his life, John had many questions on his heart. He couldn’t think his way out. He couldn’t see his way out. Though he lived to an old age there, he didn’t know he would do so at the time.

However, Jesus knew some things John didn’t know. Jesus was about to invite John up into the heavens. Jesus wanted to give John some new perspective and some fresh insight.

Revelation 4:1

4 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

What an amazing and comforting Scripture; “John, come on up, and I will show you all the things that must happen.”

Jesus proceeded to show John some things that are answering eternally important questions 2000 years later. John didn’t need deliverance, he needed new perspective and that is what Jesus gave him. When John gained a new perspective he received answers, he received direction and he received revelation. I believe Jesus still does the same for us today.

For most of us the real problem isn’t the lack of answers or the lack of direction it is simply that we are stuck bumper to bumper in the middle of our own ‘Hillside Strangler’. From our vantage point all we can see is our problem staring us in the face. The simple fact is if we remain where we are spiritually, our ‘Hillside Strangler’ may soon ‘strangle’ the life out of us. It is imperative that we position ourselves in a place with Christ where He can give us new perspective.

Whether you are seeking direction in your ministry or answers for your problems you need to get down on your knees and get where Jesus is. It is critical to your survival. If you can get where Jesus is, you’ll be able to see what Jesus sees. When you can see what Jesus sees you can know what Jesus knows. New perspective will be gained. New direction will be given. Revelation will be received. Then, you will be able to launch an aerial assault on your own ‘Hillside Strangler’ with the divine confidence you have received from above.

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