God's Photo Album

Every once in a while, I love to sit back and flip through my photo albums.  Since we don't have any kids of our own, our albums are mostly filled with pictures of us, the dogs and kids/youth from our church from several different activities we've chaperoned.  Still, there are many memories held within the pages, and I cherish the time to think back and smile about what we've done and seen in our short time here on earth.

I read something this morning that made me think of photo albums, but as my mind wandered, God implanted a beautiful message within my heart.  Photo albums generally contain pictures of joyful occasions and praise-worthy accomplishments.  Birthday parties.  Graduations.  Anniversaries.  The first step.  The first smile.  The first bicycle ride.  The winning goal at the soccer game.  The class reward.  On the whole, you have smiling faces and happy people.

Seldom (if ever) have I seen a photo album that immortalizes someone's failures.  You know, a picture of "the other kid" getting the reward.  Your child sprawled on the pavement after his first bike wreck.  Your beautiful ballerina in tears after she stumbled across the stage.  Or how about holding up that report card with all D's and F's?  We simply don't take pictures of those things (at least, not on purpose), and many times, if we do happen to catch the booboos on film, we discard the photos or place them somewhere less prominent.  Why?  Because we want to focus on the good.  The accomplishments.  The precious moments.  The happy times.  Who wants pages filled with tear-stained faces and stories of hopelessness?  Not me!

And neither does God.  I believe He probably has some photo albums of His own--one for each of us.  I don't know what images my album holds, but I'm sure there's one of the day I was saved and one of my baptism.  I imagine there's one depicting my surrender to God when He called me away from teaching and my comfort zone.  My wedding day is there as is the day I was born.

 But what isn't there is a single photo of my failures.  The times I've walked the wrong road.  The times I've turned my back on God, determined to do things my way.  The times I've stumbled and found myself sprawled on the pavement, crying tears of frustration and remorse.  Nope, those pictures are absent, for God doesn't want to remember those.  In fact, according to the Bible, He can't remember them.  They're under the blood, cast as far as the east is from the west.  He can't find them and doesn't want to.  Instead, He's content to thumb through my album and praise my accomplishments, precious moments and happy times, even though He knows that none of it would have been possible without Him.  Still, He bestows praise and displays my album for others to see, like a proud Father doting on His little girl.

And just think, one day I'll get to crawl up in His lap and look at the album with Him.  What a glorious and precious day that will be!  Who knows, that picture might find its way in the album too.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.- Psalm 103:10-13