As a writer and storybook illustrator, having good eyesight is important to me. I need to see the small stuff as I use my pen, brush or pastels to create my art.
I am also Bible teacher. Recently, my current vision issues reminded me of an incident that took place several years ago as I was teaching in Eastern Nepal. I was there teaching a Bible course, The Character of God, to women church leaders and children’s ministry teachers. On this particular day, we were focusing on the attribute, ‘God is Good.’
Seeing God’s attributes in the world around us is like putting on new pair of glasses.
Seeing God’s attributes in the world around us is like putting on new pair of glasses—and looking at life’s circumstances through the lens of God’s character. God’s Word, of course, should be our standard for understanding what He is like. However, I find that people’s view of God is often blurred, or distorted by inaccurate information about Him; fatigued by stereotypes and worn out clichés–like looking through an outdated pair of glasses.
Through the study of God’s word, one begins to see Him as He is—with all of His attributes working in harmony—just as He intended. Then one can recognize His handiwork in the world and in personal situations. When this happens, it is not unlike the first time we put on our new glasses!
I gave the women in this class a small homework assignment to help them process this concept in practical terms.
“On your way home today, look around you. Ask God to show you His world through these new lenses—especially through His attribute of ‘goodness’. Look for some signs of His goodness in your every day circumstances. Come back tomorrow, ready to share!”
One woman’s story stands out. Sister Una (not her real name) stood bravely before the women of our class. I estimated her age somewhere near seventy, for her sun-bronzed face was deeply creased, and she had white hair. She looked much older than her actual mid-fifties. I learned that she was recently widowed.
“I asked God to show me evidence of His goodness in my life.”
Fidgeting with something in her hand, she spoke softly. “I was greatly challenged by this assignment. But I decided to put on my new spiritual glasses anyway. So, on my way home, I asked God to show me evidence of His goodness in my life. Especially now. And He did!
“When my husband died, I lost all my income. I am old. I cannot learn a new trade. I feared many times that I too, would die. But I heard that there was one job I could do—as long as I was strong and healthy. I took a job at the rock quarry. There, I move rocks from the quarry, and place them into piles, for the big trucks to pick up later and carry away.
“At first, I hated doing this backbreaking work. I felt very sorry for myself. My hands bled, and my back hurt. The hot sun baked my skin and made me feel tired and sick. But learning God’s attributes became a joy for me. I have begun to see His goodness all around me.
“Today, I hold a stone in my hand. It is rough and hard; heavy—like my life. With my new glasses, I see all the things stones can be used for. First of all, the quarry provides work for even the poorest among us. The stones dug from that pit are used to build our roads, our houses, our churches and public buildings. Some are broken and crushed and mixed into cement to make things stronger. The beautiful ones are used to decorate our homes. Stones are solid, sturdy, and available. God is good like that. He has given us stones, and shown us many ways to use them for good. In them, I see His goodness.”
As I watched Una, I realized that she was like those stones she described. . .she too, had been broken, crushed and used.
As I listened to her, I noticed the women around me had tears in their eyes. Una was also like those stones. Married to a selfish, harsh man, she too, had been broken, crushed and used. Her life had not been easy before his death—and was even harder afterwards. Yet God, in His goodness, gave her new eyes with which to view her life, and through it, He revealed His goodness to her.
Una is still a faithful woman of God, attending church regularly, serving her church as a teacher of children, evangelizing when she can.
Hearing about her life, I wept too.
How often do I lapse into self-pity over a far less difficult situation? How often does my complaining spirit keep me from seeing God’s goodness in and through my own circumstances?
How about you? Do you need a new pair of glasses?
Stop for a moment today. Focus on God and His goodness! Look at your life through the lens of God’s goodness. What do you see? What evidence to you see of HIS goodness in your circumstances? Take a moment and thank Him.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13NKJV)
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. If this short story has blessed you, like it, share it–and thank God for it. Pray for the women in Nepal–for their life there is difficult beyond imagining.
In my next post, I’ll share another story about God’s amazing character.
5 thoughts on “Seeing Life Through A New Pair of Lenses”
Thank you for an excellent reminder of what is important and who is in charge. God bless Una! May we each put on God’s lenses as soon as we hop (or creak!) out of bed each day. That is, until we receive perfect sight when looking at Him face to face.
Thanks Cindy for your kind affirmation. I was reminded to practice this myself afresh when I woke up today with a sore throat. Was ‘good’ that it only hurt till about 11:00! Yes, I’m looking forward to that perfect sight one day too.
It is truly easy to lose our focus! Thanks for the reminder.
I loved this! I’m so glad you’re getting back to your blog writing again. I loved the stone analogy. Hey, I’m a rock person from the get go! One more kid day. I feel like I’m running a marathon. I woke up this morning and I thought, is it really only WEDNESDAY??? Plus, I’ve caught a sore throat. Seems poetic: the first day of school back in August I had a cold, and now I’m ending the last day with one too. Just praying it’s a short one, as one week from Monday, we’re leaving for Iceland/Switzerland! Love you, knd
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Thank you Kristin. I am going to do a few posts on the attributes–and the changes this understanding made to the various women I met in S.E. Asia and India, Nepal. Hope your last day goes well. PS: I woke up with a sore throat too! 😦