convex lens

I’m taking a photography class this semester.  I don’t really know why except that I love photography and this semester seemed like a good one to give it a try.

As I was reading my assignment for this afternoon, I came across something that really struck me.

The chapter said that what we focus on when taking a picture is what comes into focus in our photograph.  In other words, all the things around our focal point become slightly blurred.

Just reading this section brought to my mind the old song,

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

So, as we get up each morning and begin our day, what are we focused on?  As we drive to school or work, where is our focus?  As we do the jobs we are given to do, what do we focus on?  When we return home in the evening and as we go through our weekends and our vacations, WHERE IS OUR FOCUS????

If our focus is on Jesus, then all those things around us that normally could be stressful, difficult, or disappointing will suddenly seem a little less upsetting.  A little blurred.  And even the things that could cause us to become super excited and proud are taken down a notch when we keep our focus on JESUS!

I love that!!  I just love that long before cameras even existed, God KNEW that focusing on the right thing was VITAL!

Look at the picture above.  Do you notice a difference between what is “real” and what is “photographed?”  After traveling through a lens, the resulting image is flipped upside down.  Does anybody else think that is odd or difficult to understand?  Now someone who understands the way a convex lens works could probably explain this result in a scientific way, but to my small simple mind it is just too much to grasp.

I think that what happens in our lives is a lot like this phenomena. 

What we “think” makes sense is usually the opposite of the reality that God longs for us to see.

We see our tough times as a time when God seems far away.  God sees these same tough times as a way to draw us closer to Him. 

We see death as the end.  God sees it as the beginning. 

We see financial problems as hopeless.  God sees them as an opportunity to teach us to put our Hope in Him and Him alone.

We see success as fame and fortune.  God sees success as laying everything down for His Kingdom.

It helps me to look at life upside down.  When someone experiences a tragedy, I try to look at the whole ordeal in the way I think God sees it.  In my life, I try so hard to look at the loss of Adrienne and Nick through God’s eyes.  He has rescued them from a cruel world.  They are safe in His arms.  He has caused both me and Tim to become more compassionate and more empathetic.  He has opened my eyes to a hurting world.

I even think about what has happened in Haiti.

To the world this has been a devastating, unfortunate, pointless catastrophe.
But to Haiti, in many ways it has given them a voice in the world.  To get help.  To be loved on.  To matter.  How many celebrities were rallying around Haiti a month ago?  How many of us were praying for Haiti a month ago?  Yes, it is still a very devastating, unfortunate situation in a worldly sense.  But in a spiritual sense, I do not think it was pointless.

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.

When we can get to the point where we can look at our life through God’s lens and with the right focus, I believe we will be able to face whatever life throws our way.  The biggest curve ball will not catch us off guard.  The hardest yank on the carpet under our feet won’t cause us to fall. As we face each new day, we have to to remind ourselves of all things we know.  When I’m having a hard day, it helps me to mentally list all of the things I know.

I know that God loves me.

I know that He cares.

I know that He eventually works all things for good for those who love Him.

I know that precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of one of His saints.

I know that He holds the world in His hands.

I know that nothing can separate me from the love of God.

I know that every time I think of one more thing “I know about God” my faith is strengthened.

So, until the day that my faith becomes sight, I’ve got to walk by faith using the only lens that will give me a true image of reality.  It is the God lens.  And I have to stay focused on what matters most…….Jesus Christ.

Thankful that a photography class is teaching me more than just how to take a better picture,