The Whole Picture: A Guest Post by Dorcas A. Zuniga

My first experience with anesthesia was the summer I had my wisdom teeth removed. It wasn’t good. I remember getting to the bathroom and feeling dizzy. What happened after that is still a blank. From all accounts, I fainted as I entered the kitchen.

My three-year-old nephew, John Mark, was sitting with his older sister Stephanie on the stairs, just outside the kitchen doorway. When his mother asked him what happened to me, he said, “The feet that was going down, was going up.”

I’m guessing the whole scene must have been really strange to John Mark. The wall between the kitchen and the stairs where he sat, blocked his view of what was happening to the upper half of me. He could describe what he saw—the feet on the floor suddenly shooting up like the weightless end of a seesaw—but he couldn’t explain why it happened because he didn’t see the whole picture.

Many times I’ve been in situations I couldn’t explain. Why couldn’t my husband and I have a child? Then why, after eleven years, was I able to bear our son while other loving couples remained childless? Why did Dad’s cancer come back and take away the love of Mom’s life? But, on the other hand, why were Mom and Dad blessed with almost sixty years of togetherness while other couples were separated after so many LESS years?

Joseph spent much of his early life wondering. First, his brothers sold him into slavery. Then, even after he proved to be a valuable servant, he was thrown into prison due to false accusations. When his situation seemed hopeless, he was chosen to be second in authority only to Pharaoh. Because of his faith in the Elohim* of his fathers, Joseph knew that the events in his life happened in order to fulfill Yahweh’s overall plan for His people. In Genesis 50:19-20 (NIV), Joseph told his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of [Elohim]? You intended to harm me, but [Elohim] intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

There are many events, both happy and sad, in our lives that just don’t make sense. Sometimes an explanation comes later. But many times we’re left wondering. What we need to remember is that we are looking at only part of the picture. It’s like starting to read from the middle of a book. We might be able to get a sense of what’s going on in that particular scene. But unless we start at the beginning, we won’t fully understand the whole story.

Yahweh knows the beginning and the end of each of our lives because He writes our stories. We might want to change a scene or a plot. We might even want to rewrite an entire section. But our revisions would alter Yahweh’s intended purpose for us and the lives of those around us. We need to rest assured that the Author and Finisher of our faith is scripting a beautiful story for our lives.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares [Yahweh]. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (NIV).

Jeremiah 29:11 reassures us: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares [Yahweh], ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV).

When we live by faith, we will one day see how everything we experienced throughout our lives fits together so perfectly. Not only will Yahweh show us the whole picture, He will bring us to the happy ending that He planned for us all along.


*Author’s note: Yahweh is the Hebrew name of our Heavenly Father, the great I AM, as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15. Elohim is the Hebrew transliteration of God, the Almighty. Learning the Names of God helped me gain a greater understanding of His nature and a closer relationship with Him. And so I share my treasure with you.


© Copyright 2016 by Dorcas A. Zuniga

This article first appeared in Refresh Bible Study Magazine.


Dorcas is a wife, mom, family medicine physician, and writer. With the desire to use her words to bless others, she has written an article for Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. and is currently working with members of her church, The Assembly of Yah, on a book of devotions. Share in her experiences and blessings at and




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perspective, hope, adversity, trials, The Whole Picture, Dorcas A. Zuniga, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (1)

  • anon

    Dorcas, your experience, your questions, and Joseph's story illustrate a wonderful truth. Thank you for this post. 

    Nov 09, 2017

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