What do you see when you look at this image? You probably notice the tears. You can't hear the sobs, but I promise you they were there. This photo was taken in a moment that knocked the breath out of me. I was overcome with emotion in a way I had never experienced before. My family stood nearby. They, too were caught off-guard by the unexpected emotional wave as it swept through the room. While this snapshot reveals a highly emotional moment, it is not the complete picture. You see the camera is limited in that it can only capture what it is focused on. It is unable to display all of the other details that may be going on just outside the screenshot. Should the camera be pointed in a different direction or panned out a little, suddenly things become much clearer; there is more context to interpret. This image might lead one to believe that this moment in my life was destructive and a time I would not wish to relive. But let me show you more.
This day was the birthday of my first nephew and boy did he take my breath away! Though there were tears, they were tears that brought great joy!
In church a few weeks ago we were discussing how life is a series of snapshots and how sometimes our view is limited to only those things we are focused on. I couldn't help but think of this photograph and how it was such a great visual for that lesson. You see sometimes in life there are tearful moments. There are things we do not understand; pain that it seems cannot possibly be used for good. It is so easy to get caught up in just the details we can see, but God sees a much broader picture than the snapshot we hold. While our lens tends to zoom in on the close-up and personal tears, God's lens pans out and sees how those tears are part of a much larger picture. We tend to be focused on the immediate, God sees the eternal. We see the heartache, God sees new life.
You may be in a season of tears. Maybe your breath has been taken away. Be reminded that this is just part of your picture. It is a snapshot that is part of a much larger image, a still-shot taken out of context. Sometimes the tears are a part of new life! This is not the end of your story, it is a beginning!