I love object lessons. There’s something about them that helps me grasp spiritual lessons that otherwise elude me. However, I would like to share with you a lesson revolving around an ordinary, everyday object.
Picture a piece of glass. Now, imagine that the glass represents the difficult circumstances in your life–the stress that weighs you down and steals your sleep, the overwhelming schedule that creates havoc in your life, the relationships that are so far from what they should be, your failing health, that horrible job that leaves you tired, frustrated and out of sorts. Whatever your situation may be, that piece of glass represents those problems. So, what will you make of your glass?
You see, glass can be made into many different things, and while I would love to discuss all of them, for the sake of time, I must limit this article to just a few.
First, glass can be made into a window. According to the dictionary, a window is “an opening in the wall or roof of a building or vehicle that is fitted with glass or other transparent material in a frame to admit light or air and to allow people to see out.”
Notice that, a window admits light and allows us to see out. When we turn our circumstances into windows, we shine a light on our lives and give ourselves the ability to look beyond our current circumstances. It allows us to focus on something other than the giant in front of us.
Psalm 119:71 says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Good to be afflicted? That makes no sense … unless you’ve learned to turn those circumstances into a window, whereby you can see God’s Word and God’s work in a whole new light.
Second, glass can be made into eyeglasses, which are lenses worn to aid vision. Psalm 119:18 says, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”
By turning our circumstances into eyeglasses, we improve our vision. We allow ourselves to see clearly without our vision being affected by our emotions. And often, it is only through such dire circumstances that we will actually see the things that God is trying to show us.
Third, glass can be made into a magnifying glass, which is “a lens that produces an enlarged image, typically used to examine small or finely detailed things such as fingerprints, stamps and fine print.”
Psalm 40:16 says, “Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.” Did you catch that? The Lord be magnified. The point of a magnifying glass is not to examine how big our problem is, but rather to look through the problem and see just how big our God is, to study His fingerprints on our lives and to examine the fine print that we were blind to before.
Unfortunately, despite the many good things we could do with our glass, we have a tendency to turn it into a mirror. The dictionary definition of the word mirror is “a reflective surface that gives a faithful representation, image or idea of something else.”
When we look into a mirror, what do we see? Yep, ourselves! By turning our circumstances into a mirror, we’re turning all of our focus and attention on ourselves. We become selfish and self-centered, only worrying about ourselves and our own problems. And unsurprisingly, we feel all alone in the midst of our suffering.
A simple piece of glass, just like our circumstances, can be made into many different things, but the process never happens by accident. It takes a choice. We have to decide what we will make with our glass and understand that the decision we make will affect others as much as it affects us. Choose carefully.
Can you think of some other positive uses for glass as it represents our circumstances?