Catch a Glimpse and Keep It Too
You start by finding the corners. Next the sides. Then, all the pieces in between. It is strictly trial and error as you search diligently through a multitude of fragmented images looking for the one that fits, then the next. Piece by piece the image is completed, celebrating every successful placement. Then finally the picture is complete. The frustrations, the struggles, the failures, it all passes away as you revel in the victory of the great accomplishment.
My mind was occupied with this illustration while praying in the sanctuary of our church recently. The names and faces of many people were weighing heavy on my heart as I prayed for those I knew were struggling with issues at home, work, church, health, and life in general. To be honest, my own family was included in the list of names as moving to a new community always presents it’s share of challenges. I walked from row to row, chair to chair, balcony to main floor, spending time with my Lord. I ended my walking tour of the worship center at the steps leading up to the podium. While sitting there on the steps looking out towards the empty seats, my gaze was snatched by a glimpse of something I had never seen before.
Our sanctuary has beautiful stained glass windows arrayed on three sides. The most spectacular of which is on the east side, rising several feet above the balcony. Stunning as it is, the morning light impedes the impact of the visual aspects of our worship service. Therefore, long, dark curtains hang over the windows to block the light. Yet, while sitting on the steps of the stage, outside the sun began to rise to full strength. Towards the apex of these great curtains, there is a small seam where the drapes do not flush together. It was through this break that the sun charged in and produced a light greater than any in the night sky. I sat in wonder as the light intensified and then began to wane. For just a moment, I was given a glimpse of the presence and beauty of that stained glass window.
I can’t help but be reminded of times in the Bible where people were shown glimpses of Heaven and of God’s Glory. Old Testament greats like Moses, Isaiah, and Ezekiel to name a few. Those in the New Testament who walked with Jesus, witnessed His glory, recorded His words, even viewed the Heavenly realms. All of these were given but a small piece of the great big picture of God and His Kingdom. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the piece alone provided limited information about the big picture. Yet, it served a great purpose by offering tangible evidence of the big picture.
We all will face struggles. You are probably faced with them right now. Difficulties at work, financial strains, church conflict, and family issues can all act like a long, dark curtain, attempting to hide God’s plan for your life. After a while, our negativity and feelings of doubt and hopelessness can lead to frustration and grief. However, John 16:33 says to “Take heart!” God has overcome the world! The puzzle really will produce a complete picture. There really is a beautiful, sun lit window behind that dark curtain. You can have peace in knowing that God is in control and has plans that will only prosper you, not harm you.(Jer. 29:11)
Let me share something that I have learned and relied upon for several years. My family and I have been blessed to serve with people who are real encouragers. They always provided a kind word or note of thanks in the times of struggle and in peace. Although I was very appreciative of their words, I would soon forget what they had said or misplaced the note or card they had given me. On one occasion when I was feeling very depressed and frustrated, I stumbled across a wonderful note given to me several months earlier. After reading the note, God lifted my spirits and my attitude changed immediately. The note provided a glimpse of God’s plan and purpose for me. I kept that note, and several more after it. Anytime I began to dwell on the darkness of the situation around me, I would go back to my thank you cards and notes. Each one would expose a hole in that dark drape and give me hope for God’s power and provision.
We should not get so focused on the bad in life that we forget to catch glimpses of the good. God provides for us daily, in big and small ways. All the glimpses will add together to point to the fact that He already has the victory, we need to rest and trust in Him.
Posted on September 16, 2011, in Life, Persoanl and tagged beautiful stained glass, dark curtains, fragmented images, heavy on my heart., stained glass windows. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.