Not too long ago, I walked through a local park and saw a beautiful butterfly fluttering about. I had camera with me and tried to take picture of it but it flew away before I could take a picture of the butterfly. Feeling a bit disappointed, so I gently asked God if He would bring butterfly closer to me so I could take a beautiful shot. It didn’t happen that day. Of course I was slightly disappointed but still trusted God. I wasn’t sure what His answer was going to be – Yes or no. If it were going to be a yes, then it would be on His timing not my own!
Well… today I had a very pleasant surprise from God. I went to this local park again and saw probably around five to seven butterflies. I felt as if He gave me much more than what I originally asked for! Not just one butterfly, but numerous butterflies! I thought this was a good lesson in waiting for His timing and that He never forgets our prayer (which I did completely forgot). My prayer initially was for one butterfly at that time, but it felt as if God was saying, “I’ve got something better for you! Just wait and see” and then BAM! He gives it to you =)
I love photography and taking pictures of what God has created for us – flowers, stars, mountains, forest, etc…
Recently, an interesting analogy came across my mind. I thought about how taking pictures can be similar to how we chose to reflect God’s character, glory, and love.
Camera is a way of capturing what we see out there, so other people can have a little taste of what’s it like to be there and what it looks like. Of course, it doesn’t compare to being actually there. Similarly, just simply knowing about God is very different from actually experiencing Him and being with Him.
Like a camera, as a vessel of Christ, we are able to “capture” God’s character, glory and LOVE by yielding ourselves to Christ! When we die to Self and allow Christ to increase in our lives, we are showing God’s character, glory and LOVE toward others in hope they will come to God and experience his everlasting LOVE.
Galatians 5:22-26 (ESV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Any good photographer would know that taking care of camera and using them properly are essential to taking quality pictures. Dust and dirt can get on the camera causing the pictures look bad. A photographer would clean the camera lens with a special microfiber cloth. Comparably, sin (dust and dirt) prevents us from reflecting who God is. Only the blood of Christ can wash away our sin. If we seek forgiveness and repent from our sin, then our “lens” will become clean which allows us to reflect God better in our lives.
Using the manual settings in a camera requires basic knowledge on how they work together to be able to take a quality picture. In the same way, building ourselves in the knowledge of God’s word allows us to apply His word effectively in differing circumstances
Taking this analogy a bit further, suppose we wanted to invite unbelievers to God’s kingdom then we want to make sure we take care to handle God’s word with due diligence. If we took a bad picture of a beautiful landscape (God’s kingdom) then would people (unbelievers) be interested in going there? Perhaps if we took a good picture then there could be a chance that people (unbelievers) would want to visit the beautiful landscape (God’s kingdom) after seeing it in pictures? We are to share His good news and invite everyone to His kingdom. Not everyone will accept, but some will!
Luke 14:15-24 (ESV) 15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
Even with a good picture of God’s creation, it doesn’t capture everything God had made and designed. We cannot truly put God in a box, all we can do is to point others to His LOVE and GLORY! Consider a picture of a beautiful idyllic lake surrounded by tall swaying pine forest – there is so much that we don’t see in the picture itself. Examples of what we don’t see in the pictures – animals thriving and multiplying, cycle of precipitations, plants growing under the sun, precisely designed DNA in lifeforms, and finely tuned condition in our universe that allows the right condition for the life to flourish!