Do you ever get a smudge on your glasses?

It sits in the bottom left corner of the lens. You can focus on other things and go about your day, ignoring the smudge, but it won’t magically vanish. Eventually, you will notice it again, usually when it’s inconvenient—when you’re driving or trying to look at something far away. Unless you clean those glasses, your eyes will snap back to the smudge over and over and over again.

Sometimes, I think certain memories are like smudged glasses.

You can focus on other things—try to be present in the world around you, ignore the memory and power through, but eventually…it comes back up. Eventually, you need to clean your glasses.

Being joyful in every circumstance is an uphill battle. The enemy will do anything to destroy your joy. Sometimes, it’s big things, but more often than not, his most effective strategy is something as simple as smudging your glasses by putting a painful memory in the corner of your eye.  

What do we do?

When the memory is so painful, it sucks the breath out of your lungs. When you’ve tried cleaning your glasses yourself, and it just hasn’t worked. Suddenly, that smudge has smeared over the entire lens, and it’s all you can see.

What’s the cure for a smudge on your glasses? A painful memory in your heart?

Well, I don’t know. I’m only twenty-four. I’m sure someone out there has all the answers, but it certainly isn’t me.

There is only one thing I’m 100% sure of in this world: God’s love for me. So, my advice is this…

Take it to God

I didn’t want to take it to God. Didn’t I just clean these glasses? What if He couldn’t clean it? Worse, what if it was just the way my glasses were made?

Every morning at The Company, we take an hour to worship God before we start our day or get into our tasks. To give Him the first hour of our day.

I sat in the circle, my eyes tightly shut, my shoulders raised, as I tried my best to sing songs of praise without crying. I felt like such a fake. I was furious with God about this memory that had come up, but I was even angrier at myself for being mad at God. Finally, after a half-hour of singing, I reached out to Him.

“I’m sorry I’m mad at you,” I whispered. “I hate that I’m upset. I hate that I’m angry. I know it’s not your fault these painful things have happened to me. I don’t know why I’m angry—please forgive me for being angry.”

An image came to mind. A gardener, tending to the roses he’d planted. He trimmed away crowded leaves and clipped off the sharp thorns along the stem. Suddenly, a stem poked his thumb, and a deep crimson bead sprouted from the wound.

Then, a whisper followed. “Does the Gardener, when pruning the roses he planted, get angry with them for pricking him with the thorns he’s trying to trim?”

Beloved, God knows. He knows it hurts, and He’s not angry when you’re honest with Him about your feelings. He can take it. He’s God.

No matter how you feel…angry, afraid, hurt, embarrassed, or ashamed…God wants you to take that to Him. He wants you to share it with Him. You can trust Him with it.

Your glasses are going to get smudged. Living in a fallen and broken world makes this just part of life. But you don’t have to live with smudged glasses. You can always take it to God. No matter how big and scary it is.

He loves you. He cares for you. He wants you.

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