Mirage – Tasting sand or tears?

Still working on my class about Connecting with our Creator through his creations and I am exploring how the Bible mentions weather as teacher and consequence.  While looking at an old homeschooling resource about weather, I stumbled on a section on mirages.

 “A mirage is defined as: a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced (distorted) image of distant objects or the sky.

It is a real optical phenomenon which can be captured on camera, since light rays actually are refracted to form the false image at the observer’s location. What the image appears to represent, however, is determined by the interpretive faculties of the human mind.” (yeah its wiki but its right and in plain English)

“Peary could clearly see the mountain tops of “Crocker Land” across the polar ice pack, but it was only an Arctic Mirage.” (Copyright Lee Krystek, 1998)

Looking at images of mirages and reading stories about people fooled by them, either in the deserts, on mountain tops or even on deserted highways, something sparked in my mind.

  www.lindajackmanphotography.com

To have a mirage you must have heat and pressure.  Satan dwells in hell which is a hot place.  How often does he use a “mirage” of sorts to make something sinful or wrong seem acceptable? The father of lies  turns up the heat and distorts our view pressuring us to stumble.

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This happens when we take our eyes off where God wants us to be like when we don’t seek him before we leap into a new direction, relationship or ministry. 

A mirage may fool us into believing  that person seems way more kind and Godly than our spouse, that promotion way more lucrative, that opportunity way more inviting.  Perhaps the mirage makes us think that movie or TV show or that music is way less offensive and vile.

We are tricked into a distorted image of reality.  But we are ripe for it, if we’ve let our vision stray from the truth and the source of light – God.  Even NOBLE deeds can be mirages if they are NOT in accordance with God’s plan for our lives. Pursuing them, leads to disobedience.

www.lindajackmanphotography.com

And like a thirsty soul in the desert uses his last bit of strength to fall hard over the hill to the oasis below, we fall hard into sin and the lies of Satan.  And for us, just like that thirsty soul, the reality is ugly when we hit the bottom and see the miragefor what it really is – a lie.  Heartbroken the desert dweller gasps sand and we who’ve broken God’s heart and possibly the hearts of others taste the salt of our own tears.

Point to Ponder:  Are you sucking in sand or tasting salty tears due to chasing a mirage?  What steps do you need to take to for a reality check. How can you fix your eyes on the true source of light?

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Image is Everything

Images. For my friend Linda images are everything. She is a professional photographer with Linda Jackman Photography (http://lindajackmanphotography.com/), images are her livelihood. She can tell a story with a photo. She has a gift for not only capturing the right emotion as it happens, but also creating that emotion through visual manipulation. The right light, a filter here or there and a conveniently staged prop and a simple flower can become a gift being given by a petulant child, or an ethereal shot of an infant appears to be a heavenly angel.

Images can evoke emotion. Recently I watched the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and was taken right back to five years ago with a heavy heart watching the devastation of property and people. The other day I was sent a photo that made me laugh hysterically. When I see images of child trafficking or animal cruelty I get angry. Looking at photos of my father can make me wistful and photos of chocolate, well they make me hungry!

While images can provoke us, they can also deceive us. Advertising is full of deceptive images that tell us to drink this, take that so you can look like this. I recently viewed a video that showed how an average gal with ordinary features was transformed into a billboard beauty. Did you ever see the commercial for the square Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger years ago? My son talked about it for days. I saw the disappointment on his face when he unwrapped the burger and uttered the words, “This wasn’t what it looked like on TV”, while it was a good lesson it came at his expense.

One of the coolest verses of the Bible about creation is Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” and then verse 27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Seriously? We are created in God’s Image ponder this a moment. That same GOD that created the heavens and the earth AND created you…actually created you in HIS image – His likeness. Basically – Image is everything.

A pastor once said, “You might be the only Jesus that people see.” We sang a song in church yesterday the chorus went like this:

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a Crimson Stain
He washed it white as snow

As established above, images are powerful and these words reminded me that if we’ve accepted Christ and believe that he paid it all…our image is white as snow. We can’t live in the past, because God put an end to it when he allowed Jesus to pay our debt.

Point to Ponder: What image do we project and what does our image evoke? Are we the real deal? Or are we morphing what others see on the outside? Are we living in the past or walking in spirit and in truth? What is hindering us from being authentic?

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