For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)
The world of macro is a fascinating and glorious one. Such beauty lies in that which is naturally difficult to see and is revealed only with lenses, created to take it in.
Taking some of these macro shots one day, I discovered a tool called, a “color picker”, in which you can hover this icon at any spot on the photo and suddenly the color is revealed on a screen to the side. Suddenly this macro world expanded even more, as colors I had not even known existed revealed themselves. Hues and saturations from one end of the spectrum to the other. And all of it on a color palette that even the most gifted master painter could not create.
Getting into this little side hobby caused me think of all which remains unseen within our circumstances and yet, is beauty, waiting to be revealed.
The unseen growth.
The unseen purpose.
The unseen beauty.
The unseen glory.
The unseen redemption.
The unseen blessings.
Unbeknownst to us, every circumstance, especially the most painful, can bring either a regression or a progression. We are never standing still in our Christian walk. For those who are constantly seeking to live a surrendered life, it is the latter, not the former. However, just as we are often completely unaware of the digestion process of our food, we are often quite unaware of our own spiritual and emotional growth for a period of time. But then, we look back through a journal or a blog or just in remembrance and we see huge steps in our faith level or our self-control or our joy and peace and we stop with humble thanks, because we remember what it once was.
This double-arrowed line represents all time – past, present, and future. Your life here on earth is the tiny red dot, and your life in eternity is the purple line. In reality, the dot would be so small, in contrast with eternity, that you wouldn’t even see it. Our life is merely a vapor. (“&amp;nbsp;&amp;lt;input type=”submit” value=”Update” /&amp;gt; What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14b) It is gone before we know it. Eternity is not a place you go after you die. Eternity starts at your birth, and heaven is simply a new place to continue to live out the life that God preordained for you. Right now, we are immortal beings with finite minds. When we make the switch into heavenly realms, we will be changed. We will possess the infinite mind to comprehend how everything in this earthly part of our lives fit together.
The children that we have lost had such small dots that many would not even consider their existence. Somehow, this can make us feel additional sadness and negativity toward our circumstances. We often feel that we “deserved” to have that child in our lives for longer. However, when our parents, or another senior in our lives, live a “long and full” life, do we not feel that it was simply “their time to go?” What is the difference? Human perspective. In God’s eyes, both lives were lived in their fullness and were complete and perfect. Not one day too long or one day too short. When we finally have infinite minds, we will be able to see this clearly, and our sorrow will be wiped away in a revelation of absolute truth.
The resounding refrain of Perfect Joy: This is not all there is! So much here on this earth impacts so much “there” in eternity. It might simply be the roles our babies were created to play in eternity, without experiencing earth at all. Earth is a sort of preparatory course for the rest of our lives. It often seems so senseless – so pointless here, but once we cross over there, we will look at what we went through, and how it worked together to make us into who we were meant to be in God’s “forever plan.”
Every pain that ever tore our hearts into jagged little pieces will be held up in light of His astounding, brilliant glory. Every tear shed, which is collected in His bottles, will reflect the sovereign purpose He had ordained for our lives before time. Every grief, every heartache, will be another worship cast at His feet, as we cry, “holy, holy, holy,” and like the beauty of a sunset after a terrifying storm, those heartbreaks will shine with a beauty we cannot comprehend here on this earth.
ALL things will be restored, redeemed, and completed to the glory of God.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
In order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11b
Sin, heartache, pain, sorrow, death, etc. were certainly not in the Creator’s initial design for mankind. However, at the same time, God knew that we would choose sin, at which point “bad” things would enter the world – multiplying and destroying. Could God have chosen to force His creation into obedience? Of course. Would He still be fair and just? Of course. Is it also fair and just that He allows difficulties, trials, and seeming “bad” things to happen to us? Of course. Why? Because we were created by Him and He owns us. The Scriptures say that God even uses sinners to accomplish His will. He can do whatever He desires. Here is an excerpt of Romans 9. I would encourage you to read the entire chapter.
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory. Romans 9:14-23
This is not an easy concept for us to accept at times. We feel “wronged” or “slighted,” if we do not receive exactly what we feel we need. We often believe that we somehow “deserve” things to be a certain way, or that we somehow have wisdom beyond God to know what “should” happen. We seriously need to consider our perspective. I often use Legos as an example. If we created a huge Lego world, and our little Lego people raised their funny little hands at us in anger, how would we react? Of course, we would smash them, or at the very least, disassemble them. What right do they have to tell us how things should be done? This is the same lesson that Job had to learn. Job 38-39 is God asking Job what right He had to question His Creator. Then, we see a summary at the beginning of chapter 40:
And the Lord said to Job: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” Job 40:1-5
In conclusion, we have said it before, and we will say it again, God’s sovereignty will bring either bondage or freedom in your life. The choice is entirely up to you.
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Original material by Melissa J. Carswell, MA, BCCC, Holly M. Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp42p02-23-14