I'm not talking about your standard eye glasses. You know, bifocals, trifocals, reading glasses, contacts...
I'm talking about glasses that help you see into eternity, help you rejoice only in good times and encourage the quietness in bad, or glasses that simply help you see the world according to you.
Let me explain.
We are so blessed to have found a church where absolutely every Sunday we walk away with a deeper understanding of God's purpose in our lives, which results in us feeling closer to Him. Whether your life is going well or you're faced with some sort of trial, it always helps to be able to relate God's word to your situation. It is comforting to know that God is walking with you along your path, whatever hills, valleys, twists and turns that come along on your journey.
Yesterday's message was the second part of a series about the "Soundtrack" of God's story. I felt like the sermon was written just for me.
Louie Giglio is a powerful speaker and has such an incredible way of making the scriptures really come to life in today's world. He focused on the 'midnight hour'. He used the story of Paul and Silas in the book of Acts, chapter 16. He brought up the point that in the times when we're struggling with something, the 'midnight hours' or the darkness, is when we often feel most alone. We get through the 'midnight hours' by:
1. Believing in God
2. Believing in a bigger story than our own.
Instead of sulking and being angry with God when they were beaten and jailed, Paul and Silas began praising God "after the midnight hour", literally in the middle of the night. All of the prisoners heard them.
How in the world does this relate to me? Why am I posting about this?
Louie says we have three kinds of glasses that we wear:
1. Our "Me" glasses - where we view life all about us and nothing else.
2. "Life-colored" glasses - we praise God when things are going well and stop praising when things aren't going the way we desire. According to Louie, in the bad times, "We press pause on the story of God".
3. "God" glasses - where we accept what comes our way as part of God's bigger story that He will use for His good and His glory. We look our hardship right in the face, accept it, and praise God anyway. (Not denying that it will be hard, or accepting that it's what we want - God never said it would be easy to follow Him).
Before Grady died, I really felt like I was wearing "God" glasses. I was so thankful that I had made it past the point of prematurity. I was praising God for a healthy baby. I was praying every day for other struggles in our lives. I felt like my walk with God was good at that point.
Now, insert Grady's death.
I pressed "Pause" in a BIG way. I wish I could honestly say that I kept my "God" glasses on, but not so, my friends, not so! I snatched those things off REAL fast, threw them where the sun don't shine, and put on my "Life-colored" glasses. I didn't like the cards God dealt me and my family. I didn't want to give my baby back. I didn't want to have to tell the girls that their brother had died. I didn't want to live with empty arms that should be full of the sweetness and love of a new baby.
I hated it.
I was angry at God. I couldn't talk to Him. I couldn't think about ever talking to Him again.
But through all of that, deep down, He was the only thing I had to hold onto. I like to describe my relationship with Him in those days as "bittersweet".
I wish that I could say that I kept my "God" glasses on the whole time like Angie Smith. (She, her story, and her unwavering faith were such a testimony to me. More about how she changed my life to come....). I wish so much I could say that it was easy for me to slip those "God glasses" right back on, but it has taken me a while. I can finally say that I'm wearing them again, and my heart is at peace.
I don't like my situation, but I have to learn to live with it. I don't know why Grady's life was so short here on this earth. I don't know why God chose me and my family to endure this pain and heartache.
But, I DO believe in God.
I DO believe in a greater story. The story of God, that will live long beyond my short story is over. I know that God is going to use my experience to help someone else, and I know that He's going to use it for His glory.
That, my friends, is what is supposed to happen in the bigger and much greater "Story of God".
If you'd like to hear the entire sermon, click here. The name of the sermon is "Soundtrack, The Loudest Song".
I hope that you'll choose to wear your "God glasses" when you're faced with your next trial. Or, that you'll choose to slip them back on if you're in the middle of a trial right now. It is not always easy, but it truly is so much easier than trying to walk that dark road alone.
May God bless you today and always!