Seeing Through New Lenses

A dear friend recently stayed overnight at my home. It was a luxurious time for long conversations and reminiscing. I always thought she was either an adamant agnostic or potential atheist so I talked gently about the extraordinary ways God has affirmed His presence in my life.

“Oh, of course, that’s what you saw because you’re looking at life through your lens as a Christian,” she said. She said this gently too, as if not to unravel a 40-year friendship. Because of my deep affection for her I didn’t blurt out, “if you could allow His light into your life you’d see the same things.” But I didn’t. I simply told her my stories and she seemed interested. But it didn’t go any further.

Yes, my lenses are not her lenses. It’s similar to the new eyeglasses on my face. I had waited a long time to update my trifocals, so much so that I was horribly disappointed when I put them on. Everything at the edges seemed worse than before. Distortion and discomfort were now my fields of vision.”If you can try to be patient for a few days,” the optician said, “you’ll probably find that your brain will make the adjustments, the accommodation for this extreme change in your corrected vision.” Noticing my alarm she also added, “and if it doesn’t work for you we’ll call your eye doctor and see if we can downgrade the strength in one of the areas of vision.”

She was right, of course, and within a day I was singing the praises of these lenses and my brain had indeed submitted itself to this new way of seeing. And this reminded me of the Lord’s promises. He promises to be our light, our new way of seeing in Isaiah 60:19,”The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.”

He doesn’t promise only light and clear vision and happiness, though. We know that in this life we will have hardship, pain, and struggle. But he does promise that He will guide us, He will bring us light, He will use us to help others, and He will always be with us, and with submission that He will correct our vision.

If that’s what He promises in living life through the Christian lens, then I’m in. And I will ask for His guidance to reach the friends and family members who do not yet know Him.

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Providential Proverbs

The small, soft leather-bound New King James Version of the Bible has been my reading companion for several years now. So I was shocked to find that I never saw its reading suggestions on how to “Read Your Bible Through In a Year.”

I like systems and plans and organization. Having a book tell me how to read it seemed novel enough to check today’s suggested reading. As Providence would have it, I thought today was September 18  instead of the 20 (denial, I think for all the things I haven’t yet accomplished this week). The Old Testament reading (for tonight — egads, now I need to up the reading to twice a day, or read all in the morning…) was Proverbs 30 and 31. There’s a radio commercial I hear from time to time from a group named Proverbs 31, but I hadn’t looked up the chapter until today. Here were the words I needed to hear to keep me on the right track of balancing taking care of my family and bringing in income. “She watches over the ways of her household” (vs. 27) and “She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.” (vs. 16). Oh my, there’s everything about how I want to live my life in this one chapter, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain,” (vs. 11) speaks to how I want to help my beloved in all ways.  “She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household,” (vs. 15) is what I’ll keep in mind when I need to make lunches and get something into the slow-cooker in the early morning of a very busy day.

“She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms” (vs. 17) reinforces the delight I had in new arm-strength after placing over 1,600 pounds of mulch in the garden — by myself because I was the one who had the time. Every verse from 1 to 31 is extraordinary and it will provide a lifetime of inspiration for the ways in which I desire to live.

My prayer is that you take the time to read or re-read Proverbs 31 soon.

Blessings and kind regards to you all.