Thursday, June 8, 2017
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It was an ugly day. The worst part was that it was a weekend when Karen and I had finally been able to get away for a weekend in the Adirondack Mountains. But the weather didn't seem to care. Our Saturday was drippy and damp and chilly. I finally said, "Let's go home, Karen. We can get this weather for free there!" So I started hauling out suitcases and grumbling most of the way. When I looked around to see where Karen was, I saw her leaning over this wishing well-and she wasn't moving. Old Happy Husband ambled over there to get her to the car. When I got to the well, I saw she had her long camera lens trained on something just inside the well. Quite a good photographer, this girl. And I learned that she usually knew what she was doing when it looked like she didn't. She said, "Look at this." It was a large, perfectly engineered spider web, and little rain droplets sprinkled all over it. Wouldn't you know, she went back, enlarged that photo and took first prize in an art contest for a picture called "Jeweled Web". Amazing! While I was looking at the ugly all around us, she found something beautiful to train her lens on!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Re-Aiming Your Lens."
I wonder where you've been aiming your lens and what kind of attitude you've had lately. Those two things really go together.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 34-where our lens is supposed to be focused. David is writing from a miserable situation. The king of Israel is furiously jealous of him and pursuing him with a posse. The king wants him dead. David is hiding in a cave, he's a fugitive, unsure if he will be alive or dead tomorrow. His situation probably might even make yours look fairly bright.
Here's what he says, "I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips." He says, "I've decided to focus my lens-not on the bad things going on. There's a lot of them, but on the greatness of my God and the great things He's doing." So, here are some things David finds to be thankful for in this dark season.
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears...the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and he delivers him...those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." Just like my wife on that ugly day, David finds what's beautiful and focuses his lens on it. His praise just lifts him above his situation.
So what would a tape of this last week's conversations reveal about what's in your heart? Have you been tending to lead with the negative...to talk a lot about what's wrong? Or would the recording reflect a conversation that was filled with things to thank God for...with the good things He's doing? God tells us we're to be known for consistent praise-"always on my lips".
It's also contagious praise. David says, "Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together." There's something about 'praisy' talk that affects the overall climate in the room, and it starts turning a cloudy climate into a sunny day. David also talks about the fact that praise is comforting. "My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice."
Your negative talk is just going to further submerge someone who is already sinking. But your positive praise, your focus on an awesome God, you can lighten their load and help them aim their lens at the Savior instead of the situation.
Here's what happens to the person who determines that praise is going to be what their mouth is used for-"Those who look to Him (David says) are radiant." They carry this God-glow with them wherever they are. And it's all in which way you decide to aim your lens.
Make a choice. Focus on what's beautiful.