I once took a class in black-and-white photography at a local art school. Our first assignment was to take interesting photos to develop in the school photo lab. I spent happy hours photographing the Rideau Canal locks here in Ottawa, and the lovely sculptural art at a historic cemetery. Later, I developed my camera film in the lab, which had very basic equipment and techniques to control the light shining through my film negatives onto the photographic paper. It was fascinating to watch the positive images appear on the paper in the vat of developing liquid: the walls and gates of the canal, the angels and foliage of the gravestones.
Remembering the revelation of the lovely images in the red-lit photo lab makes me think of the revealing of God's glory.
Romans 8:18,24-25 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV)
The apostle Paul suffered much more than many of us ever will in this life: from persecution to shipwreck, to imprisonment, and eventually execution. Yet he still considered that the future glory in heaven would always outweigh any suffering and privation that he experienced in life. The amazing thing about God's glory is that it will not only be revealed to us in heaven, but it is also revealed to us now in salvation, as we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
The photos that I planned and composed for my black-and-white film course were taken in the hope that the developed photos would be interesting and beautiful. During the developing process, I was willing to be patient to marvel at the images on the photo paper pegged to the drying lines in the photo lab. So too, with perseverance and faith, we live our lives day by day, sunshine and shadow, victories and struggles, knowing that by God's grace and salvation, we will see the glory of heaven, and meet Him face to face at last.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You that in the midst of struggles and disappointments in life, we can look forward to that wonderful day when we shall see You face to face. Give us the grace to be patient until the day when we meet You in glory. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "At Even When The Sun Was Set" (Lyrics)