I heard a sermon a long time ago by Graeme Cooke. I love his sermons. This particular sermon Graeme talks about how the lens we see God through determines every action we take. For him, he sees God as the "kindest person he knows." Since he knows God and sees all that happens to him through the lens of the kindness of God, it colors everything he says, does and believes.
It is in moments or seasons of being in the dessert/valley/fire/(insert metaphor of your own liking here) that our true lens reveals itself. And, I have to say, my lens is not pretty.
There is so much I have gone into about the rough season I have been in, and much I have not talked about as it is too personal to talk about. Sometimes we go through these seasons as a result of our own sin, sometimes we go through them because of something that others have done to us, and sometimes these seasons come straight from the hand of God himself to mold and shape us into His character. The only way to do this, it seems, is through hardship. We can prolong these seasons by our actions and reactions. For example, the Israelites were specifically led into the desert by the Lord....their length of stay was largely determined by their attitude and actions once they got there.
So, I have now been in this season of pruning for some time, and my view of God, my God-view, much like my world-view, is the lens that I am seeing everything happen through. Will I still see God's loving-kindness to me at the end of the day? Will I still believe that He has nothing but the best for me when it all seems to have gone and I have nothing left? What will I chose to believe when the promised land seems so far off. I sometimes wonder how Joseph made it through those years in prison, or how Abraham waited so long for Isaac to be born, or even David who was crowned king and chased around Israel by the current king before taking the throne made it through those times not only not bitter at God, but was called a man after God's own heart.
What is it about these men, or even some of the women of the Bible (Hannah, Ruth, Esther), that they had that I don't? How was it with little written Word, Jesus not born yet, and no gift of the Holy Spirit, how did these men have the kind of faith that carried them through? And how can I get a greater dose of that for myself? Faith is a gift....how can we get more?
I know one thing for sure, the lenses I am wearing are the wrong ones.