Have you ever watched a child with a magnifying glass? They get such pleasure from looking through it and discovering the ways in which the glass makes everything larger and clearer. The details of an an’ts body provide endless delight. A bit of fluff will require much pondering. A blade of grass is a wonder to behold.
Do you remember the first time that you looked through a microscope and the thrill when everything came into focus and you saw the blood cell? The sheer wonder of the intricacy of the mind of God who created everything is such a marvel.
Have you ever looked through telescope and seen the wonders of the moon or a nearby planet come into focus? God has created such beauty here on earth and in the heavens. His universe is a marvel to behold.
Today as I was pulling together prayers for worship I found this prayer in the Worship Source Book:
Help us to make your name and the nature of your grace larger and easier for people to see. Help us to live and worship in such a way that we become magnifying glasses through which our neighbors and co-workers and children and friends can see you come into focus in ways they have not seen before.
You and I, we are the magnifying glass through which others see the intricate nature of the grace of God. When they look at us, we show them God in ways they have never seen God before. (Gulp)
This is such an amazing opportunity. This is such an amazing challenge. This is downright frightening and demanding.
What if a person is wanting to see God on a day that I am discouraged? What does God look like then? Will they see a God who can’t or won’t take care of my needs? Will they wonder why they should trust a God who doesn’t care what happens to them?
What if my neighbor is trying to see God on a day that I am angry? What does God look like then? Will they see a God of anger, judgement and punishment? Will they turn away from God unable to bear the anger that they think he has for them and all people?
What if my child wants to see God more clearly on a day that I have doubts? Will they think that I don’t believe that the God I love and serve can take care of us?
I have to wonder, am I equal to the task of being a magnifying glass for God?
Yes I am. We all are. Even when we are sad, or angry, or discouraged, or doubting, we can and do magnify God’s grace. The challenge for us is to be watchful and faithful about the words that we use.
When discouraged we magnify God’s providence when in faith we proclaim that, despite what we see, God will take care of our needs.
When angry we magnify God’s mercy when we don’t sin. We don’t sin when we try to build bridges of forgiveness and understanding between us and those who have angered us we show that God is a God of mercy and love and forgiveness. We correct our sin when we reach out with true repentance and confession to someone whom we have angered and hurt and make amends.
When we have doubts and express our doubts along with our resolve to trust that God does know what he is doing, then we magnify his faithfulness.
The truth is that we all feel those negative emotions, but we don’t have to allow them to rule us. We need to train ourselves in the ways of Godliness in order that when we encounter those things that discourage us, anger us, cause us to doubt, or challenge our ability to forgive–the words we speak will be an affirmation of God’s grace active in our lives.
Have I mastered that? By no means. But I pray that by the grace of God I’ll have more days when I am pointing the magnifying lens of my heart in the right direction and God is indeed glorified in my living.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34: 3