When my daughters are excited, they jump.
Jump, jump, jump.
Jump, jump, jump.
Trip to the aquarium!
You’d think after years of being a mom to these jumping beans, I’d have learned to announce good news from afar.
But I haven’t. My dentist can probably attest to how many times one of their heads has slammed into my jaw as I foolishly stood over them and made a thrilling announcement.
So, when I took the girls to a children’s museum for an exhibit on butterflies, I should have maintained a safe distance, walking behind them the whole way.
But I didn’t. Instead, I held my camera in my hand and walked next to my oldest daughter who took one look at the massive monarch caterpillar entryway and . . . .
Jumped . . .right into my hand, knocking my camera to the concrete sidewalk. From then on, the lens made this sickening grinding noise as it turned on or tried to focus for a shot.
My husband performed camera surgery and that helped for a while. Yet, eventually the lens stuck in place again. Now my camera clicks and grinds when you turn it on and then flashes red light onto the display before showing the message, “Lens error. Camera will shut down now.”
With my camera out of focus, I’ve been wondering how often we experience brokenness in similar ways. Something sends us hurtling to the ground—a hurt, a sickness, loss, sadness, fear, death, confusion, loneliness, conflict, fatigue—and suddenly our perspective is askew. We see everything through a lens that is stuck and out of focus.
Certainly we lose God’s perspective often enough.
This earthly life of ours will always be accompanied by a darkened view and limited line of sight. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:2, NASB).
It’s not until Glory that we’ll receive heavenly lenses and eternal scope.
Until then, we’ll probably still be asking: Why did that happen? How long will this take? What’s the point of this and the significance of that? Is there any hope? What is around the corner? What will my future hold?
But here and now, even the darkness can be enlightened at times.
We can remember …
….that God breathed life into dust.
The materials we give Him do not limit what God can create. Peter tells us,
“Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19).
In any situation, we can have full confidence in our faithful Creator, who makes beautiful things out of dust and even forms the dust itself.
…that God restores life when all seems dead.
In the book of Job, we read: “There is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant” (Job 14:7-9).
So if you are feeling the weight of broken branches and fallen leaves, when you feel fruitless, abandoned, cut down to the very stump and left for dead, allow hope to refocus your lens. Despite seeing fruitless death, we remember that God restores and redeems.
… that even rain is a blessing.
In the book of Joel, God promised Israel restoration and renewal if they would repent and return to Him. Following judgment and famine, they would see new growth, but it required rain to wash away the dry, crumpled weeds and to saturate the earth with life-giving water.
Joel tells the people to “rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain He sends demonstrates His faithfulness” (Joel 2:23 NLT).
Even in the downpour, we can praise Him for bringing new life with His faithful love.
Oh, it’s not easy of course. Our lenses are still faulty. It’s the way we’re made. We’re finite. Limited. Created without the ability to see the long-term and the eternal.
We’re broken cameras, all of us.
In The Faith Dare, Debbie Alsdorf writes:
When we focus only on self and become consumed by the conflict, we begin to live under it rather than being an overcomer through faith in Christ (p.. 160).
Let it be our prayer, though, that He be our vision, that He provide our focus, and that He guide our perspective. It’s the only way to truly see.
Devotional adapted from A Broken Lens, originally published 10/14/2011
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King