Without my glasses on, the Christmas lights on our tree look like blurry, multi-colored snowflakes. It’s gorgeous, really. The colors run together a bit, and there is a hazy, artsy beauty there. It’s remarkable to see the difference as I put my glasses where they belong. The colors become distinct, precise orbs that are separate and clear.

Our spiritual vision is like that too. 1 Corinthians 3:12 says Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now (NLT). Heaven will clarify many things for us when we arrive. Why did that family have to endure such hardship? How did that trial help my friend to grow? Was this a necessary part of the plan, God? Why did this bad thing have to happen?

It is very human and natural to want to ask why when we watch people (or ourselves) go through difficult experiences. If we can remind ourselves of this truth – that we only see a portion of the whole picture now – it can help to carry us through till the day when we will finally understand. Our journey with Christ is a faith-walk; we can’t see what the future holds or exactly where He is leading us. And the very essence of faith is that we don’t have those answers. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see (NLT).

Through faith we trust that Christ goes before us to make the way (Deuteronomy 31:8). And we trust that He has a plan. The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord; He delights in every detail of their lives (Psalm 37:23 NLT). And 2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us that we walk by faith, not by sight (NLT). Martin Luther King, Jr. said it this way, Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. 

So until my understanding is crystal-clear in heaven someday, I will continue to see earth’s circumstances through the glasses of the Word and try to see as clearly as I can. Blurry lights on the Christmas tree are beautiful for a time, but after a while they give me a headache. And I can’t function effectively in that place.

Photo courtesy of Flikr and Partie Traumatic – Flashing Lights