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Lens

Sometimes we look at God’s plan for us only with our physical eyes and don’t believe with our heart. And so we only see darkness in the shadow and not our destinies situated ahead.

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I have terrible eye sight. The current pair of glasses I’m wearing is graded at 700/650. My daily prayer is that I hope this blog won’t turn into Stevie Wonder’s Twitter account one day.

Glasses have always been a part of my life, ever since I was 5, when I got my first pair of eyeglasses. They were arguably my most favourite pair of glasses I’ve ever owned. The best part: they were Superman-themed.

I remember when I first put them on. It was so cool. I loved staring at the mirror, looking at the cool little vinyl print of Kal-el lining the side of the blue frames. Yes, they were as blue as Superman’s suit.

It was awesome. It was liberating. Not only could I see better (which helped 5 year old me because I loved to read books and play the games on Disney.com), but it felt comforting having a powerful meta-human by my side, or rather, displayed proudly on my face, everywhere I went.

And in fact, when there was somebody I didn’t like in front of me,  I’d squint really hard and pretend a laser beam would blast from my eyes. You have to give me some slack, I was 5.

So obviously, I’m a glasses expert. Take it from someone who’s owned a pair of Superman spectacles. And today, if you don’t mind, I’m going to talk about eyeglasses.

This is how eyeglasses work— when light reaches the lens, they focus the light into your retina. Light needs to reach the retina so you can see. Sounds simple, right?

But for some of us, our eyes simply can’t see the light. Our eyes can get weary and lose shape, and once they lose shape, the light doesn’t make it to the retina.

Now before you close this blog because I’m blabbering about eyeglasses and Superman and retinas . . . I want you to know that in fact, I have a very biblical message for you today. That’s right.

In Jeremiah 29:11, it says,

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Just a few verses before, it also says,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;

Even before your molecules were forming in your mother’s womb, God was already forming His plan for You. That’s how advanced God thinks. From personal experience, time and time again God has shown me His faithfulness. God plans for you and me.

And it doesn’t stop there! In Romans 8:28 (the VOICE translation) it says,

28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

God’s Word is filled back to back with promise after promise that God has a great plan for our lives.

Okay so Bene, how does this relate to eyesight?

You may have 20/20 vision, with perfectly shaped eyeballs . . .  but have you ever thought about the shape of your heart?

God has all these promises set before us. We know that. In fact, I was deliberate in choosing those verses because you’ve probably heard or read them before.

But even if we know all these things, it’s still difficult to believe in them.

Sometimes, situation after situation wears down on the shape of our heart, making it more difficult to trust in what God has in store for us. When our heart loses shape, God’s light can’t reach in. And we become blind to the promises that God has set right in front of us.

It’s hard to believe in the dark.

So today’s message is for all the people at the verge of giving up. If you feel confused, lost, directionless, out of shape, or in the dark, you might need to check the state of your heart.

We cannot perceive God’s promises if our heart has lost shape.

You see every time we face a situation, our heart has a chance to lose shape when we face the situation’s shadow.

I believe each situation casts a shadow in our lives. What do I mean? School is a situation. Fear of it starting soon is the shadow. Living in your past mistakes is a situation. Fear of never moving on is the shadow. Being pressured for the future is a situation. Fear of what’s going to happen next is the shadow.

When we are overwhelmed by the shadow, the fear causes us to lose heart. Things become a lot worse when all these different situations and shadows pile up it’s overwhelming.

But in reality, a shadow is harmless. Yes, it’s dark, yes, it’s scary, but a shadow isn’t physical. It’s not something you can touch, or hold, only something you can think about. A shadow can’t hurt you.

Each situation has already been handled by God! And sometimes, God allows shadows to cast upon your life, to show you the true Light that only comes from Him. Shadows can’t harm you — they are there to redirect you. In the shadow, God’s light is most visible.

It’s quite a funny paradox how God becomes more obvious when things don’t make sense. In the night, God is there; He is a light that darkness cannot overcome. He is there. He has always been there.

And this is what I’ve been trying to tell you: God has a plan and this situation you are in is just a step towards something greater.

You need to believe with your heart and you’ll see God at work in your life.

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe when things don’t make sense. But that only happens when we try to believe with our physical eyes and don’t believe with our heart.

We end up seeing just the darkness in the shadow and not the destiny situated ahead.

Here’s a trick I’ve learned: you need to understand the mechanics of how your heart believes.

Like what I said awhile ago, the eyes need the light to reach the retina to see.

We need God’s light to reach our heart for us to believe.

Take note, it’s God’s light.

It’s not God’s details. It’s not God’s numbered step-by-step instruction manual.  It’s not God’s Waze route.

It’s God’s light.

You don’t need to figure out  the destination, when you know who the Driver is. You don’t know need to know so much where you’re going, but rather, Who is going with you.

When you let God’s light reach our heart, when you allow God to love you, that’s the only time you see.

Because seriously, if you’re going through a trial, God is just teaching you to trust. God cannot be the Driver if you’re trying to backseat drive. God cannot make the way if you’re charting your own. You need to trust in His love.

Slowly, God’s plan will unfold right in front of you, day after day after day. Suddenly, God’s vision for you becomes clear.

I’m going to end with this.

How do you trust in His love? When you realise how much God loves you.

One way of saying it is seeing through God’s lens. But many times, we wear the wrong lens.

Many people think God puts you in certain situations to punish you. Either they get angry at God, or give up in God.

They end up wearing a “punishment lens.”  The moment you put on the punishment lens, you succumb to the shadow of your situation. The reason why those lenses don’t work because they prevent God’s light from entering your heart. You end up missing the truth that God loves us so much.

So that’s why, instead, God prescribed the perfect Lens.

That Lens has a name, and His name is Jesus.

Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love for us. Jesus IS the crazy plan that God has promised us. Jesus is proof that God will do anything just to show how much He cares about us.

God did not have to come in human form, to spend time with us, to love us, to experience situation and shadow, to ultimately die for us. He could have shown His love in any other way. But God didn’t want to just show His love, He wanted us to see it.

That’s why it doesn’t make sense to think that God is punishing us through this situation. Because God had already taken the punishment and instead took our place.

Instead of looking directly at your situation, you look at Jesus. You look what He has done so far in your life, and you realise He has and will never fail you. And that is why He is the Lens.

When you look through the Lens, God’s light becomes focused straight into your heart.

Even in the blurriest situation, if you look to Jesus, you will remember how far God is willing to show His love for you. Even death could not hold back Jesus, so how could any situation you’re in hold back His promises?

Looking through the Lens will show you that God is always there.

He is by your side, lining every area of your life with His faithfulness. I think you know where I’m going with this.

Today, I don’t wear Superman-themed glasses. But I do wear a Lens, and nothing is more liberating than knowing Who goes with me through each situation in my life. His light is brighter than any laser beam, breaking through the shadow. He is not just super, he is a Saviour.

My encouragement for you is to look through the same Lens and see the glorious vision God has planned for your life.

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will SEE the glory of God?”

John 11:40


PS. Join us at youth! I believe when people gather together in a room to worship Jesus, we’re fixing our eyes upon Jesus, to the Lens of love. We hold a weekly youth gathering for high school and college students every Sunday called Youth High. We have Praise & Worship, Holy Mass, a powerful talk, and lots of opportunities to connect with young people. It’s held in Meeting Room 2, PICC, and gates open at 10:45am. Hope to see you there!

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YOUTH HIGH

PPS. I want to invest my life into your life. I look at every comment, every message, and I want you to know that I’m here for you. You can always message me on social media, @benesanchez on twitter or @bene.sanchez on IG. Praying for you always.

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