If you watched the Super Bowl last night, you likely saw the great commercial about erasing the mistakes out of your photos. The words on the screen said, “For years, our phones have captured our memories.” Images of candid, in the moment photos begin to roll, then you begin to notice the flaws in each photo. The mom and her baby sitting in the snow, with the dog pooping in the background. The perfect family photo on the beach, with the chubby guy in an orange speedo playing frisbee in the background. With each photo, the problem in the background becomes more apparent. Then the words, “Now, it’s time to fix them.”
And they reveal the magic of the new phone they’re advertising. Built in photo editing to remove little mistakes and big mistakes caught in the background of your memories. With a simple circling of your finger, the pooping dog is gone. The orange speedo man disappears from the beach. The ex-boyfriend, boom he just disappears.
And I can’t stop thinking about this commercial.
Isn’t this what we want? We want to be able to edit everything to make it look different than reality. We want to magically erase mistakes and display proof that it was never even there. We want our memories, but we want our edited memories, minus the mistakes.
It speaks to all of us, doesn’t it?
What would you erase? Who would you eliminate right out of the scene? What would you go back and change if you could? What part would you skip?
As I asked God why he keeps bringing this commercial to my mind, he revealed to me the teaching for today. In our pursuit of the perfect edit, we eliminate the reality of God’s divine presence in our lives. If you erase that mistake, you also erase God’s mercy that covered you in every step of that mistake. If you erase that problem, you also erase God’s provision through that problem, and the greater purpose of it today. If you erase that ginormous goof-up, you also erase God’s grace that never gave up on you once. If you erase the hurt, you also erase the healing.
Where’s the phone that can not only capture your memories, but reveal the truth in them? Where’s the edit that can show the unseen in every single moment of your life?
The hand of God that was holding you.
The mighty angels that were protecting you.
The blood of Jesus that was covering you.
The good plans of your creator that were guiding you like an unseen roadmap.
Imagine for a moment all those memories you would like to edit. Oh, the changes you would want to make. The steps you would want to redirect. The decisions you would want to reverse. The people you would want to eliminate.
And now imagine God there for each and every one of them. Imagine his eye on you like a beam of sunlight, watching over you through it all. Imagine his hand holding you at your weakest, most regrettable moments. It’s right there in your memory, you just missed it before. Imagine his hand shielding you from the fiery darts of the enemy, as you walked through that hardship. Imagine his shadow covering you. It’s always been covering you.
This is what we can’t see. This is what God wants to show us!
Not the elimination of the dog pooping the in snow or the chubby man in the orange speedo … No, he wants to show you what you’ve been missing as you focus on all you wish wasn’t captured in your memories. You’re wishing away the mistakes, and you’re missing the miracle. The miracle that you made it through. The miracle that somehow the way was made. The miracle that you didn’t lose your mind. The miracle that you weren’t successful when you tried to end it all. The miracle that you haven’t screwed this up beyond repair. The miracle that you’ve never been alone in this for a single moment.
Here’s what you can’t see … God has been there through it all for you.
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
If only your phone could capture that. If only you could see that Mighty Warrior who has been saving you. If only you could see his face shining on you, not in disappointment or anger, but in great delight. He delights in YOU. His love doesn’t rebuke you, his love rejoices over you.
In your pursuit of editing your life to eliminate the extra pounds, the pooping dogs, the random orange speedos, the bad choices, the blemishes and imperfections, have you totally missed that God has been right there delighting in you? Could you look back over your photos, and try to see now how God was there with you? Could you search for evidence of his hand guiding you, even when you couldn’t see it? Could you find proof of his shadow covering you, even when you were hurting, even when you were wrong, even when you wandered?
It’s there. God has always been with you.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
God has PERSONALLY gone ahead of you in this. Right here, right now, God has already walked through this for you. He’s already made a way. You don’t want to edit that out. You don’t want to miss how he has never failed you before, he has never abandoned you once, and honey, he won’t start now.
If you struggle to come to terms with why God allowed some things in your past, you’re not alone. If he was always there with you, why did those things happen? If his hand could stop hell’s attacks, why didn’t he stop that one?
Those are hard questions. Questions I’m not qualified to answer. But God has asked me to tell you today, that he was there. He has always been there. And he has every plan to turn it all around to be used for good in your life. God will take every ounce of the enemy’s intended harm, and he will use it as a weapon turned against the enemy of your soul. God alone will strengthen you. God alone will be your guide. God alone will heal you. God alone will restore you.
Zechairah 9:12 “I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.”
You’ve had a lot of troubles? Well sis, get ready for double the blessings!
That’s what he’s doing right now. When the sunshine hits your face, that’s his eyes on you. When your chest fills with air, that’s his breath giving you life. When you somehow get up, when all you really wanted to do was stay down, that is his hand lifting you. When you start seeing a way where there had been no way before, that’s the beginning of his double blessings as repayment. When you start being healed, when you start finding strength, when joy begins to return, that’s God’s presence all around you!
You know those sunbeams that show up in your photos sometimes? Yeah, don’t edit that out. You know those shadows in your photos? Don’t edit those out. You know those seemingly random things captured in the background? Don’t edit it out. God is there. He is with you.
Look back and see him there. You will. He’s always in the background.
Don’t delete the background. It’s building your story.
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