The Right Camera App for Life

As I leaned hard over the iron railing from our third floor balcony, I tapped my phone at least two dozen times trying to get the right exposure and focus for the sunrise. I was thankful no one was outside to see the strange contortions I was going through just to get the right angle. After I snapped a few pictures, I spent the next thirty minutes looking at them through four different camera and picture apps on my iPhone. I tried the “vivid” filter, the violet enhancements, the high-def resolutions, and nothing seemed exactly perfect or able to catch the glory I just watched in front of me. I finally put together the little collage on my left, uploaded it to Instagram and opened my Bible.

I’m going through 1 Samuel right now and love reading about David’s life. In chapter 26, there’s a scene where jealous King Saul is pursuing David with 3,000 men to kill him. One night, as he and the Israelites were under a God-induced sleep, David and Abishai snuck down into the camp, through the people and stood right next to Saul and his military commander. Abishai said to David “God has delivered the enemy into your hand this day.” His perspective of the circumstances, his knowledge of David’s character, and the miracle of the moment, meant one conclusion to him…God had delivered Saul into David’s hand to kill him. But David had a different perspective of these same circumstances. He said, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” So rather than kill Saul, he did something ingenious to prove to everyone that night the innocence of his heart.

We all walk through life taking snapshots of our days, capturing video moments that are significant to us. We may be driving in a car, having lunch with a friend, or laying our head on a pillow at night, when we pull out these snapshots and videos and rehearse them in our minds. But each of us have filters that we apply to what we see, hear, or experience. Just as David and Abishai did. Same circumstance, but very different conclusions. As a Christian, some look at things through “black and white” filters. Right or wrong, cut and dry. It is true that there are only two options in Christ, but to leave out the beauty of His grace, the hues of His providence, the spectrum of His wisdom, will leave us looking at people with very critical and sharp perspectives.

There are those who look through sepia tones, often reflecting on the past and comparing current circumstances to what things “used to be like, back in the day.” This leaves out the glory of God’s current work in the present, that has rainbow colors of promise that is needful for hope and trust. Some see through rose-colored lenses, and though optimism is a delight and needful, the reality of seeing the shadows and dark contrasts are so needful in the aspect of prayer. I have a filter on one camera app called “emo” and it not only darkens the entire picture, but is rather myopic and narrowly focused. I’ve found that in places where I have been deeply hurt, I apply this film to painful experiences and don’t see things in the light they are meant to be seen. Or…when I’m depressed or sad…everything in my day seems “emo” to say the least.

I looked out at the ocean as the sun had risen to a height where the rays were still being reflected like fireworks dancing on the water’s surface. Soft orange and pastel pink lines were drawn across the sky and pelicans were flying low looking for breakfast. Rather than taking more pictures, I just took it all in as the Lord displayed it in front of me. And though my husband came out and tried to capture the moment himself, a worship song and gratitude began to fill my heart. Then I remembered that in heaven, when all of the chaos and confusion of life will be over and we will see things as they truly are, then worship will follow with the words “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways” Rev.15:3. We will see through clear lenses and untainted filters all of God’s glorious workings in our lives today. The dark tones will no longer be enhanced by fear, but will merely illustrate the power of His workings in light. The blurry vision of “not understanding” will be gone and replaced with joyful clarity of focus in the face of Jesus.

I’ve been asking the Lord since then to help me see through clear filters of truth. The Holy Spirit can do this for all of us. Just as the enemy would like to change how we see life, one another, and our God, how much more does the Lord want us to walk through our days seeing through the lens of truth, with clarity of vision and right perspectives. May it be so for you today.

Shannon Gallatin

Though merely a trophy of God's infinite grace, I am blessed to be the wife of my favorite pastor. I'm also the mother of a miracle with at least 6 treasures in heaven being raised by my heavenly Father. The Lord has used my past jobs of working with families affected by addictions, abuse, and other life tragedies, to help oversee the women's ministry at Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes. I couldn't be more thankful for His entrustment to wear multiple hats of various sizes, though they might fit a bit awkward on my noggin'. Praying that each of these things are being used to make me more like my Jesus and bring Him great glory.

Though I love all of the Word of God, Philippians 3:10 has become my life verse and Acts 20:24 my ministry pursuit.


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