Very recently I was thumbing through a Wall Street Journal magazine which has snippets of contents surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of advertisements. For whatever reason, I must have noticed a dozen or more very tasteful full page ads that were drawing attention to glasses that we wear, both sunglasses and clear ones as well.
Of course, the main thing that they were selling were the frames whose cost can cover an enormous range from $39 to $3900!
It’s interesting that despite all of the advances in eye care including laser technology that actually corrects the vision to contact lenses which erase the need for glasses, there is still an incredibly, seemingly insatiable, market for regular glasses. In many ways they have become fashion accessories and not just vision necessities.
One reason is that anyone who has any difficulty with their eyesight recognizes that this is an incredibly liability. Many of us cannot read any text, whether in a book or on a computer screen, unless we have corrective lenses. Others of us cannot distinguish objects that are ten feet away without their glasses. It’s fair to say that in many of those cases, the lens they are wearing will determine how they respond to what’s ahead.
The same is absolutely true about our faith journey. The lens that we put on our heart of faith will determine, to a large degree, what our experience will be.
Over the years, I have discovered that the majority of people who follow Christ or call themselves Christians, have been hampered by wearing lenses that simply bring into focus their shortcomings and sins, their inabilities and unworthiness, their shame and their guilt and on and on. For these dear people, answered prayer always seems to happen for others and the blessing of God never seems to be experienced in the ways they read about in the Bible or hear about from others who walk with the Lord. You can give these people all the encouragement in the world, but when they put on their glasses and what they see most clearly has something to do with their inadequacy or failure, they are pretty much doomed to never see the favor of God flowing through their lives.
However, something dramatic happens when we put on the lenses that cause us to see God as being good. This is not simply just in the general sense of good vs. evil, rather it’s the very definition and nature of all goodness as we know it. (“Lord you are good and your steadfast love endures forever.”)
When our lens is that of God’s goodness, our assignment on this earth becomes much clearer. We start seeing realms of change and possibility that had been closed off to us previously because we were not confident that God cared about such things or that He would do anything about it. When you see God as good, realms of possibility present themselves and the dynamic of faith is released to cause those possibilities to become a reality. Instead of living in daily reactions to circumstances and problems, waiting for a breakthrough or a solution, we live with a heart of advancement; looking for opportunities for God’s love and goodness to be manifest.
The two most difficult areas to trust God and His goodness are first, in those which are most familiar to us. If we have lived for a long period of time with the lens of uncertainty or even negativity, it’s often a struggle to put on the lens that sees things through the goodness of God. The other area would be in those which have never really seen the goodness of God at all. I’m not necessarily talking about a remote part of the earth as much as the mind or heart of someone who has never really heard the gospel or met the true God who has revealed Himself in Jesus.
In any case, it begins with us examining our own lenses. Thankfully, it’s never too late to get a new set of frames and a brand new set of lenses and just watch what God accomplishes through your renewed heart of faith!