Pizzazz. That’s what I was looking for. An attention getter. Most importantly, I wanted the photograph to capture the special bond between me and my dog, Rascal – a picture illustrating the tight connection between us. And in the process bring me comfort and healing since Rascal had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
It was a tall order, I admit, so I went searching for backdrops. Something to make us stand out, yet was in keeping with our personalities. When I found something that might work, I’d pester my husband to take a few pictures. Summoning every creative molecule in his body, he’d snap away, but the results would be less than spectacular. Oh, I don’t blame him. I was asking him to use a lens to capture a feeling, an insight into my soul all the while I was yelling at him, “Don’t get my butt in the picture.”
It seemed I’d never find the perfect backdrop to make Rascal’s black and white fur stand out and my blue eyes sparkle. Looking back it was an exercise in futility because although Richard managed to snap some great pictures, there was never one that truly stirred my soul. That’s because no picture could ever give me what the deep recesses of my heart longed for – more time with my canine companion.
When my life’s hurts become overwhelming, I don’t have to go searching for backdrops. Soothing comfort can be found in the backdrops God provides. Luke wrote, “He will be a joy and delight to you and many will rejoice because of His birth.” (Luke 1:14) In a lowly manger, God came to this world and other than the angels singing that night to the shepherds, his birth went widely unnoticed by the inhabitants of Israel.
Yet it was the beginning of many more backdrops – a merciless cross – an empty tomb and with that, eternity itself. His backdrops change everything about life. There are times when what He has asked me to do simply doesn’t make sense to me. But against that backdrop I found that faith is a matter of blind obedience, not human logic.
Life doesn’t lack the rough spots. But it takes storms to teach us that God is faithful and will provide the strength to stand firm.
Only when we sit at the feet of Jesus, surrendering our plans and dreams, do we discover that Christ came not to eliminate the storms of life. No, he came to fill those storms with His presence. We can always count on His joy in us when we face the storms of life – a truth that makes our hearts sing and our souls dance.
And with each storm comes the victory waiting to be claimed – the awesome privilege of clinging tightly to the hand of God.