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A Broken Lens

“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).

     When my daughters are excited, they jump.

Ice cream!
Jump, jump, jump.

Jump, jump, jump.

Trip to the aquarium!
More jumping.

     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 top of 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 sees beauty in the broken.

We can remember that God breathed life into dust.

In their song, Beautiful Things, the band Gungor sings:

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

     It’s a reminder that 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). That means in any situation, we can have full confidence in our faithful Creator.  We can trust and have hope because He can make beautiful things out of dust.

We can remember 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, NIV).

     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, remember the power of hope.

     Naomi Zacharias in her book The Scent of Water writes:

“The promise is that at even the scent of water, our roots, like that of a tree, will awaken and extend themselves—at the very hint of refreshment and sustenance.  Ah, the perfume of hope that breathes life into the weary and wounded” (p. 168).

     You may see fruitless death, but allow hope to refocus your lens.  This will not last forever.  God promises to be with you.  He will work for your benefit and for His glory.

We can remember 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 would take 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).

     Lisa Whittle in her book, {W}hole, tells us “It is the goodness of God to bring forth life from deadness . . . restoration from brokenness  . . . growth from grace-filled rain” (p. 113).

     So, when we pray for the “rain, rain to go away,” we miss God’s perspective.  Instead we can refocus by praising Him for the downpour that will bring new life and the rain sent by 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.

     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.

The song Beautiful Things by Gungor blesses me continually!  You can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR7VOKQ0xJY&feature=youtu.be

To read more devotional thoughts from Heather King, check out her blog here: http://heathercking.wordpress.com/

Copyright © 2008-2015 Heather King

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