Yesterday I lost my first pair of glasses. I have retraced my steps, checked the garbage bins, sifted through the mulch pile and they still are nowhere to be seen.
Whilst I might try and kid myself as to how often I need them, they are essential when reading the fine print (actually any print if I am honest), looking at the computer screen and many other ‘essential for life’ tasks. They make everything so much clearer. Having a good pair of glasses with the right lens gives us great freedom in life.
If you’re like me, the world is often confusing and a mixture of great sadness with incredible good. Turn on the morning news and it all becomes very clear, especially the sadness of a road accident here, a stabbing there, a murder somewhere else, a massacre or horrendous accident nearby or faraway. We need a good pair of glasses to metaphorically make sense of it all. A lens that will not only help us see the picture but which will enable us to understand what’s going on. A clear way of integrating what we are seeing into our mind is essential if we are going to be able to keep our balance and perspective on life.
This is what I call my ‘gospel glasses’ that help me to see what’s going on in this world and to be able to view it from God’s perspective. So for example when I see an awful man-made tragedy, though shaken, hurt and even angry I’m not thrown into despair or unbelief, because my gospel lens reminds me that this is what sinful man (even me, if I’m honest) can do.
Or when I hear of a natural disaster, as I feel for, pray for and if able help those involved, I know from my gospel lens that God has not lost control. Rather, He is allowing the disaster to become a means of reminding us that we live in a sin-affected world and that He would shake up our complacency and use the event to win us back to Himself.
Don’t get me wrong, gospel glasses don’t give us 20/20 vision. We will only have this when we are with the Lord in glory, but they give us a glimpse into God’s heart and mind in such a way that we will know how to cope with, respond to and grow through life’s ups and downs.
Gospel glasses will also help us to see that the wealth and pleasures we are enmeshed in and enjoy in Australia at the moment are not the real reality of life. Those who wear glasses know that they must be cleaned and can easily become clouded over with steam. The gospel of Jesus can be guaranteed not only to help us see clearly but also distinguish between trivialities and truth, style and substance. And why? To keep us from stumbling and from living in a fog, by helping us to see how good and gracious God really is.